This summer’s Colorado mountain traffic broke records

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Just about 1.3 million vehicles drove through the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel in July, CDOT reports. That’s a big increase from last year.

By my math, that’s a 5 percent increase over July 2015. It’s the busiest month for the tunnel since at least 2000, and likely ever.

The tunnel is about 60 miles west of Denver on Interstate 70. If we look at the longer term, we can see that traffic has been surging since about 2011.

Actually, traffic has generally climbed since 2000, except that the numbers get kind of funky after the recession. The dip in 2008 makes sense, what with the looming economic disaster, but I’m not sure why the numbers fell so dramatically again in 2011, except that there were fears of another recession.

It’s also possible CDOT changed something in the way it collects the data. We’ll let you know what we hear.

July traffic counts for the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnel on Interstate 70. (CDOT)

July traffic counts for the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnel on Interstate 70. (CDOT)