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Cruise up to Winter Park Faster on I-70 - by Shanna Lalley

Everyone driving up to play in Grand County on a Friday evening is used to sitting in traffic on I-70 as every Coloradoan is coming to play in the mountains. The mountains are our local play-ground in winters and summers. It reminds me of the beach traffic from Baltimore and Washington headed to Ocean City, Maryland. If you live near any resort in the US we have all become accustomed that in order to play for the weekend we have to wait in traffic. There is good news for Grand County 2nd home- owners that make the weekend commutes from Denver. The Colorado Department of Transportation has announced a Twin Tunnels project that will widen the Westbound Twin tunnel making two 12 -foot lanes and allow for a future third lane to make our mountain commutes on Friday night a little easier and faster. The Westbound tunnel will be widened another 53 feet. A new wider, brighter tunnel entrance will improve traffic flow as motorists will be less likely to slow down before entering the tunnel therefore making the drive faster into Grand and Summit County. It improves driver safety as rock will be removed from above the tunnel portals keeping the roads free from falling and sliding rocks. In 2013 CDOT completed a project widening the Eastbound tunnel by adding a third lane from Idaho Springs to Floyd Hill to help on those Sunday Afternoon commutes back to Denver. It was worth the traffic delays to help improve the traffic flow that we are experiencing now with widening lanes. During the construction process its important to Change your Peak Time. CDOT has been working on a local program to offer local discounts to people that commute after 4pm on Sundays from the local mountains. Winter Park Central Reservations is offering $100 Sunday night lodging (based on availability) The Winter Park Mountain Lodge is offering $79 Sundays for lodging. (based on availability) Just visit Go I-70 to find out about free coffee offers in Idaho Springs, lodging deals in Summit County or Grand Lake, or discounts on food from Docs or Five Mountain Tavern at the Winter Park Ski Resort. The drive on I-70 is short when timed on off peak travel times making it a quick drive to Winter Park. The I-70 lane expansions CDOT is constructing is making the drive to Grand County easier by keeping the traffic flowing so people dont have to wait in long lines of traffic. There will always be traffic as everyone wants to play in the Colorado ski mountain towns. Berthoud Pass is wide and scenic with Continental Divide Vistas. Its one of the most majestic drives in the State of Colorado especially during sunsets with the white snow capped mountains and Alpenglow pink and blue skies. If youve been in the city too long and need an escape Grand County is perfect for a weekend getaway. Winter Park is only 67 miles from Downtown Denver. Its a good time to take advantage of the Change your Peak Time deals stay on a Sunday night, play hooky from work and ski on a Monday. You may just decide you want to spend every weekend here and make a Grand County home your weekend play-ground destination.

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