LAS ANIMAS COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- UPDATE: The Colorado Department of Transportation reopened southbound Interstate 25 after it was closed from Raton Pass to Pueblo due to heavy snow and winter weather conditions Friday morning.
I-25 SB: Road open between Exit 94 - CO 45; Pueblo Boulevard and MM 0. All southbound lanes now open. https://t.co/4IRuU5ibKG— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) December 27, 2019
The temporary closure, which lasted around two hours, frustrated drivers who were trying to get to New Mexico and caused heavy traffic congestion on and around Pueblo Boulevard, the southernmost I-25 exit in Pueblo.
Drivers whose destinations were in Colorado were allowed to remain on the interstate.
CDOT limited traffic entering the highway by using manually-operated closure gates on some ramps, and roadblocks on other ramps.
Michelle Peulen, a CDOT spokeswoman, explained why the 105-mile southbound stretch of I-25 was closed even though it wasn't snowing in Pueblo County.
"We wanted motorists to be able to find services if they needed them," she said, implying that finding lodging, food, restrooms,parking for truckers would have been more difficult if traffic was re-routed closer to Raton.
The highway reopened just after 12:30 p.m. Friday, several hours before snow began falling in the Pueblo area.
Snow was expected to move across the southern portion of the state through the evening. That was expected to cause traffic issues throughout the day, and multiple crashes were reported.
Heavy snow was seen in Trinidad early Friday, shown here in this video from a KRDO viewer:
Follow our weather page for the latest forecast and a look at live radar. Be sure to watch KRDO NewsChannel 13 tonight at 4, 5, 6 & 10 p.m. for updates.