White Christmas means work for plow drivers

Posted at 9:28 PM, Dec 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-25 17:27:35-05

A White Christmas might be high on some people's wish list, but it also means a shortened holiday for some city and state workers.

Plow drivers are on-call with the metro area expecting snow to arrive on Christmas day.

"CDOT, always first, is about protecting the public. We recognize that that means, sometimes, we'll have to work on the holidays, and people are accepting of that, our teams are ready for that, and in this Christmas, it might look like they very well would be working on Christmas Day," said CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford.

Just about everyone involved in snow removal is prepared to be called in.

"The reality is, we don't skimp. Even on Christmas," said Ford. "It's sort of our holiday gift to you, is your safety, and that's really important for us and that means that we'll be out plowing."

Crews in southwest Colorado have already been out plowing with heavy snow falling earlier in the week. CDOT has already had to do some avalanche control on Wolf Creek Pass.

"When we have avalanche control, we try to do it early in the morning so we can prepare the road for anyone who's coming up later in the day," said Ford.

Denver7 asked viewers on Facebook about what it's like for plow drivers to celebrate Christmas knowing they could be called in at any time.

One woman commented:

"My husband works at the airport and gets called in for snow removal. He has already been called in for tomorrow and has to report at 4 pm and will work till 3 am. We have already told the kids what time they can wake us up, which is super early, so that he can go back to bed. I'm making a bigger nicer dinner tonight and we will do a quick easy dinner tomorrow."

Another post said:

"My husband is on the CDOT crew out of Ouray that takes care of the north side of Red Mountain Pass. He definitely has to work early in the morning, but that's the gig you know? Fortunately our two children are still young enough not to really know anything about Christmas morning, so we'll celebrate and open presents when daddy gets home from work! Merry Christmas everyone!!!"

A plow driver wrote:

"It's the job we have...I don't think people realize how much family time we miss to make roads safe."

In preparation for heavy traffic returning from the mountains this weekend, CDOT will also open the new I-70 toll lanes from Empire to Idaho Springs.

"The I-70 toll lane will absolutely be open this weekend," said Ford. "We anticipate quite a bit more volume coming back from the mountains here over the weekend, o look for it to be open on Saturday and Sunday."

The price of the toll lane fluctuates throughout the day based on the amount of volume using the lane. Without a switchable CDOT transponder, using the toll lane could cost up to $40.


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