The Town of Avon experienced unusual and extreme traffic impacts in the Avon Town Core on March 15 from approximately 4:00 p.m. through 8:00 p.m. At approximately 4:00 p.m., a semi ruptured its diesel saddle tank one mile east of the Wolcott westbound exit on I-70 at MM 158, spilling approximately 100 gallons of fuel. At 4:27 p.m., the Colorado State Patrol declared it a HAZMAT incident and closed westbound I-70 at MM 163/Edwards exit. They diverted traffic from two lanes of I-70 onto the Edwards Access Road and then westbound onto US Highway 6 to renter westbound I-70 in Wolcott.
Avon Police responded with seven Avon Police vehicles and three Public Works vehicles to address the effective parking lot in Avon core. Traffic was not moving for over two hours.
Avon Police diverted traffic off westbound I-70 onto Post Blvd. in an attempt to alleviate the traffic gridlock on Avon Rd. The sum total of the traffic diversion pushed a tsunami of vehicles during the rush hour onto one lane of westbound Highway 6. Due to the immense volume of traffic converging into Edwards, there was traffic back up from Edwards all the way to Avon Rd. and Post Blvd. on Highway 6, which exacerbated the traffic gridlock in the Avon Town Core.
Colorado State Patrol HAZMAT and a private HAZMAT cleanup company ECOS arrived on scene and quickly mitigated the HAZMAT spill. At 8:03 p.m., Colorado State Patrol were able to reopen the westbound I-70 MM 163 closure at Edwards and traffic in the Avon Town Core eased and dissipated shortly after.
The Town of Avon is evaluating our procedures and communications to improve the timeliness and effectiveness of traffic management in the Avon Town Core area if such an event were to occur again in the future.
We appreciate everyone’s patience last night during this unusual traffic event.
Respectfully Chief Greg Daly