Denver Roads and Weather Conditions
I-70 crosses north of the downtown Denver area, coming east from Kansas, and west into the Rocky Mountains and to many of the nearby mountain resort areas. While it is in generally good condition, heavy usage, especially by interstate trucking traffic and weekend skier traffic up and down the mountains, means it is almost always heavily congested in the metro area.
I-25 runs north and south through the center of the city, including the downtown area. It is the main commuter corridor from the northern and southern suburbs. As a result, until recent completion of a major widening and parallel light rail project known as “T-Rex”, it was highly congested, especially during rush hours. Now, commute times, especially from the south, have been greatly improved.I-225 runs around the eastern and southeastern boundaries of the City of Denver, branching off of I-70 in the northeast, and joining I-25 in the south. It generally separates the core city from the suburbs in that area.
E470 is the toll road portion of an “outside loop”, and runs around the metro area from just south of Longmont at I-25 in the north, around the northeast suburban areas, including through the DIA airport area, then east of the city of Aurora, and through the city of Centennial in the southeast. It then runs just north of the city of Parker, west to I-25. Total tolls for the entire route are about $6.50, with several intermediate toll booths at key intersections along the route.
At I-25, the E470 toll section terminates, and the free highway becomes C470. This section then runs westward through the northern parts of the city of Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, and into southern Jefferson County, also known as Littleton. From there, it turns north, and goes through Ken-Caryl, Morrison and Lakewood, and ends at the intersection of I-70 near Golden.
The other major roads in the metro area are generally well maintained, and for the most part, run generally parallel to each other, and north/south or east/west, a least in the central areas. In the more recent and outlying suburbs, the east/west and north/south orientation is not as prevalent.
Poor winter driving conditions affect all roads, especially local neighborhoods side streets, which may not be plowed and cleared as quickly or frequently as the major roads and interstates. Extreme caution is required for any driving in winter conditions. Denver also has lots of hills, even in the metro area. This may be why there is a very high proportion of 4-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles in the metro area, especially SUVs.