Delayed opening allows roadwork to be finished on Independence Pass

Staff report
A CDOT snowcat plows up to the Independence Pass summit preparing for the summer traffic on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

An extra week of Independence Pass closure this spring allowed crews to repave the two narrow, one-lane sections of the road on the Aspen side, an official said Friday.

“For us to have an opportunity to do that provides a real benefit for everyone who uses the Pass,” said Elise Thatcher, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Independence Pass opens for the summer season Monday at noon, Thatcher said. It is the second-latest opening in the past 12 years, behind 2008 when the Pass didn’t open until June 5.

The U.S. Forest Service bathrooms at the top of the Pass also will open at noon Monday, said Brian Pettet, Pitkin County’s public works director.

Independence Pass, located on the Continental Divide, tops out at 12,095 feet.