DENVER - Eastbound Interstate 70 had big problems Sunday night:: It was closed several times from Silverthorne to the Eisenhower Tunnel. Vail Pass was also closed.
Loveland Pass was closed as well.
The new I-70 closure was announced at 10:27 p.m. following an closure earlier in the evening. The interstate was reopened at about 11:15 p.m.
Eastbound I-70 over Vail Pass was closed at 5:30 p.m. because of numerous accidents and adverse conditions and was still closed at 11:30 p.m.
A fire truck was hit in Vail and a firefighter was almost hit by a car at the same location Sunday afternoon.
Tunnel Safety Metering was in place on EB I-70 at the Eisenhower Tunnel, due to congestion. Because there are no shoulders through the tunnels, metering is used to maintain access for emergency vehicles through the tunnel bore.
The Colorado Dept. of Transportation was blunt in its assessment of the eastbound I-70 situation earlier Sunday night:
"Traffic delays for EB I-70 are 3+ hours from Frisco to Eisenhower Tunnel due to high traffic volume and poor road conditions. Additionally, poor driving weather is forecast, including snow and wind, and this may contribute to poor road conditions and extended delays. Avalanche control may be required on any mountain road at any time."
One 7NEWS Facebook user who was stuck in the backup posted at 3:45 p.m: "We left Silverthorne 2.5 hrs ago and still not to the tunnel yet! Beyond ridiculous! Its barely been snowing the past 2 hrs."
Another Facebook user posted at 6 p.m: "You might post a bit of advice for anyone nearing EB on 70 from Vail...it will take you 4-5 hours to get from Copper Mountain to Eisenhower tunnel..if not longer.. and conditions are getting worse."Eastbound I-70 safety metering has been suspended, due to traffic.