Highway 82 east of Aspen closed ‘indefinitely’ on Independence Pass because of semi-truck troubles

Staff reports

Highway 82 is closed “indefinitely” Wednesday east of Aspen because of a semi-truck trying to go up Independence Pass.

According to an alert sent just at 1:45 p.m. by Pitkin County, the pass “is closed indefinitely. Expected length of this event is unknown.”

A semi-truck was having “mechanical issues” and had the eastbound road closed just after 10 a.m. Wednesday. The alert did not say near which mile marker.

About an hour before that the road was closed eastbound because a semi jackknifed near Northstar area.

Trucks and trailers that are longer than 35 feet are not allowed on the pass at any time, and since the Interstate 70 closure Monday, numerous semis have attempted to use Independence Pass, which tops out at 12,095 feet and has a number of narrow sections, as a detour.

Highway 82 is Main Street in Aspen and is seeing more traffic because of the Interstate 70 closure. Traffic trying to get into Aspen has been backed up all day Wednesday, and long delays are expected to last into the evening.

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office has a deputy stationed on Highway 82 near a truck turnaround spot about five miles east of Aspen. More than 20 semis were stopped on Tuesday from trying to use the pass.

This is a developing story that will be updated.


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