CDOT says it is on target to open Independence Pass at noon Thursday
Highway 82 over Independence Pass is likely to open as planned Thursday at noon, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.
Crews from the transportation department worked with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center on May 14 to clear avalanche paths on both the Aspen and Twins Lakes sides of the summit, according to CDOT spokeswoman Tracy Trulove. They worked on 12 slide paths and were more successful getting ones on the Aspen side of the pass to run, she said.
Crews have cleared snow, ice and debris from the roadway and shoulders. The nearly nonstop rain lately hasn’t dumped a lot of fresh snow on the road.
“They have had fresh snow, but it’s melting pretty quickly,” Trulove said.
A statement from the transportation department said the crews are finishing chores such as moving concrete barriers so they can clear ditches, resetting barriers and replacing damages ones, repairing and replacing signs, guardrails and roadside delineators, trimming trees and brush, patching potholes and repainting highway stripes.
“Sometimes our only chance of getting much-needed maintenance work completed, including filling potholes and removing rocks that have made it to the highway over the winter, is right after we get the pass cleared of all the snow,” said Tim Holbrook, transportation maintenance supervisor for the Aspen side of the pass.
Independence Pass tops out at 12,095 feet in elevation. That makes it the highest paved thru-road state highway in Colorado. The paved roads on Mount Evans and Pikes Peak are higher, but they are dead-ends. Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park climbs to 12,183 feet. It’s a U.S. rather than state highway.
Highway 82 closes each winter east of Aspen and west of Twin Lakes, usually from mid-November until the Thursday before Memorial Day.
Updated road conditions are available at http://www.cotrip.org or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state or by visiting http://www.codot.gov and choosing the talk bubble in the lower right-hand corner.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
With the retirement of Colorado’s color-coded COVID-19 restrictions dial, state and local leaders are today steering Colorado toward a pandemic off-ramp. Whether that succeeds or fails will depend mightily on a few more weeks of personal responsibility and restraint from a restrictions-fatigued population.