Independence Pass closed for season |

Independence Pass closed for season

Aspen Times Staff

Highway 82 over Independence Pass is closed for the season.

The Colorado Department of Transportation closed the 12,095-foot pass east of Aspen on Friday due to hazardous conditions, intending to reopen the route when the weather cleared.

This morning, CDOT announced the pass would not reopen, but will remain closed for the winter. “Due to the weekend’s snow and wind, whiteout conditions, and high winds in the forecast, plows are unable to safely maintain the road for travel,” the agency said in today’s announcement.

CDOT had planned to close the pass for the winter on Nov. 7, but weather conditions frequently force its closure before the annual target date. It was closed temporarily twice this fall when weather conditions deteriorated, before the third and, as it turned out, final closure on Friday.

The gates to the pass are locked just east of Aspen and west of Twin Lakes on the opposite side of the Continental Divide ” a distance of about 18 miles. Once the pass closes for the winter, there’s only one way in and out of Aspen by road ” Highway 82 to the northwest. It links up with Interstate 70 in Glenwood Springs.

Weather permitting, CDOT reopens Independence Pass each May, just prior to the Memorial Day weekend.

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