More Traffic Ahead


The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates 43.6 million Americans will be traveling by car between July 1–5. (Getty Images)

DENVER, Colo. — Drivers should expect more vehicles on the state’s highways over the next few days as people travel in higher numbers for the Fourth of July weekend.

To minimize traffic impacts, the Colorado Department of Transportation is suspending construction and maintenance projects from midday Friday until Tuesday, July 6.  The only exception is for emergency operations.  

It is critical for motorists to be prepared before heading out the door.  Please check the latest weather and road reports, make sure you have plenty of food and water and your vehicle is in good driving condition,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “While we do everything possible to keep the roads safe, weather and road conditions, especially in our mountain corridors, can change drastically and very quickly with possible wildfires, flooding, and rockfalls. Give yourself some extra time and slow down, particularly when driving through construction zones. We want everyone to have a safe holiday.”

Independence Day traditionally marks the start of the high traffic season, with summer tourism hitting its peak over the next six to seven weeks.  CDOT is asking drivers to engage in safe driving practices (see below), especially with more vehicles hitting the road. 

Prior to the pandemic, a typical Fourth of July holiday weekend saw a significant amount of traffic travel through the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels, such as in 2019:

Wednesday, July 332,59517,32949,924
Thursday, July 423,76116,20439,965
Friday, July 524,21425, 21449,428
Saturday, July 621,14333,03054,173
Sunday, July 720,52731,09351,620

Traffic numbers were lower in 2020, when Safer at Home directives were in effect:

Thursday, July 230,80717,36248,169
Friday, July 331,16418,77649,940
Saturday, July 416,39018,49434,884
Sunday, July 516,45132,49148,942
Monday, July 617,23124,15341,384

Motorists are strongly encouraged to check on the status of the state’s roadways before traveling by viewing, CDOT’s Facebook page or Twitter feed, or by calling 511. Additional information regarding Interstate 70 west of Denver is available at Please also see the attached FAQ on traveling through Glenwood Canyon.


1.  Stay Alert.  Plan enough time to stop along the way to stretch, get something to eat and drink, return any calls or text messages, and change drivers if you are feeling tired or drowsy.

2.  Avoid Distracted DrivingThe focus always should be on driving.  Avoid using cellphones, texting, eating, and using in-vehicle technologies.

3.  Do NOT drive impaired.  Increased DUI enforcement from July 2 to July 5. 

4.  Watch for more pedestrians and bikes. Warm temperatures mean more people are outside walking or bicycling.  Slow down and pay extra attention at crosswalks and along roadways.

5.  Share the road with motorcyclesMotorcycles may quickly come in and out of your blind spots due to their speed and size. Always take a second look with more motorcycles out on the road.

6.  Obey all posted speed limits. If necessary, drive slower, based on weather or traffic conditions.

7.  Maintain proper tire air pressureWarmer temperatures can cause tires to be overinflated.

8.  Turn your lights onEspecially during twilight hours, making it easier for other drivers to see you. 

9.  Large vehicles tend to drive slower speedsBe prepared to slow down, stay out of their blind spots, pay close attention to turn signals, and give them extra space to maneuver.

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