Craig briefs: Heavy traffic expected along I-70 corridor

The Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to anticipate heavy traffic in many areas of the state during the next several weekends because of holiday traffic, according to a press release.

Additionally, extra DUI enforcement will be in place throughout the holiday weekends, so plan ahead for a sober designated driver. Through CDOT’s “The Heat Is On” impaired driving enforcement campaign, 6,558 drivers have been arrested for DUI in Colorado in 2013 to date. Please remember that your best defense against a drunk driver is your seat belt, so be sure to buckle up.

According to the AAA Colorado, automobile travel is at its highest volume during the year-end holidays. Higher traffic areas in Colorado include Interstate 25 and the I-70 corridors, where travel is expected to be heavier than normal throughout the day and evenings. 

Heavy traffic is anticipated on I-70, west of Denver. Traffic counts for November 2013 through the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels were up 28,840 vehicles from November 2012. A total of 782,421 vehicles used the tunnels during November of this year and higher than normal numbers are anticipated during the next several weeks. Motorists are asked to allow for extra travel time when using these busy roads and to use caution.

To receive real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the green cellphone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Information about weekly lane closures will be available at www.coloradodot.info/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html. Updated road conditions are available at www.cotrip.org or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. Up-to-date information also is available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” our Facebook page www.facebook.com/coloradodot

State asks ranchers to test cattle for infection

The Colorado Department of Agriculture reminds cattle owners to test their herd for Bovine Trichomoniasis, according to a news release.

 As of Wednesday, there is one positive trich location in Park County. So far this year, there have been 10 trich cases in six Colorado counties, including Park, La Plata, Costilla, Las Animas, Otero and Archuleta.

A map detailing trichomoniasis sample submissions by county and the prevalence for trichomoniasis-positive counties can be found at www.colorado.gov/ag.

“Testing and monitoring herds for trichomoniasis is the best method of controlling this infection,” veterinarian Keith Roehr said. “Cattle owners should talk to their veterinarian to determine the best management practices for their herd.”

 Trich is a costly, yet preventable infection that can affect dairy and beef cattle. If bulls become infected, the percentage of open cows can increase from 5 to 30 percent. Trich is a venereal disease of cattle caused by Trichomonas foetus. The T. Foetus infection causes fertility problems, such as early embryonic death or abortion of the calf, and is asymptomatic in bulls. 

Several diagnostic laboratories across the state offer trich testing; samples must be taken by an accredited veterinarian and results will be available between four to six days. For testing locations, visit www.colorado.gov/ag/animals and click on “Livestock Health.”

Partnership the key to improving US Highway 6

The Colorado Department of Transportation will advertise a project to prospective contractors this February that will improve U.S. Highway 6 east and west of Edwards. Pending a successful contract award, the much-anticipated project will begin in early spring and last through late fall 2014. The project has a $4.4 million budget, according to a press release. 

The improvements will extend from Squaw Creek Road (mile marker 163.1) to just east of Avon Road (mile marker 170.2). The scope of work includes the following:

■ Providing a 1.5-inch asphalt overlay to resurface the roadway and improve smoothness

■ Adding 4-foot (minimum) paved shoulders in areas where a wall is not required to improve safety for vehicles and bicyclists

■ Paving some of the bus pull-outs

■ Adding short taper lanes next to bus pull-outs for safer access and improved highway mobility

■ Constructing a left-turn lane westbound on U.S. 6 at Lake Creek Road

■ Constructing a sidewalk at the eastbound U.S. 6 Prater Road bus stop.

■ Improving curbs and gutters

■ Replacing drainage pipes and constructing a sediment trap at Bull Run Road and drainage improvements at Lake Creek Road to eliminate roadway ponding issues

■ Making Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades at all major intersections.

For information on other CDOT projects statewide, call 511, log on to www.cotrip.org or sign up for project/road condition updates in any given area by visiting www.coloradodot.info and choosing the green phone icon in the upper-right corner.

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