Independence Pass closing Monday night because of weather |

Independence Pass closing Monday night because of weather

Staff Report
An early October storm rolled over Indepdence Pass on Oct. 1, 2017. The pass remained open, but CDOT officials said Monday that the pass would close overnight because of incoming weather and may not reopen this season.
David Krause/The Aspen Times |

Independence Pass closed Monday night because of weather and could remain closed for the rest of the fall and winter, state transportation officials announced Monday afternoon.

Crews from the Colorado Department of Transportation sent out a statement just before 3 p.m. Monday announcing the gate closure on Highway 82, which took place at 7 p.m. on both the Pitkin County and Lake County sides of the Pass.

CDOT officials previously had announced plans to keep Independence Pass open as long as possible this fall because of traffic backups associated with the Grand Avenue Bridge closure in Glenwood Springs.

Crews have been plowing the highway — which goes over the 12,095 foot Continental Divide — in an effort to keep it open, the statement says. However, inclement weather forecast for the higher elevations led to the decision to close the road.

“CDOT will continue to monitor the weather through next week to determine if the pass can be reopened,” the statement says.

It is the earliest Independence Pass closure since at least 2011, when it closed Nov. 2, according to the CDOT statement. The latest the Pass closed since 2011 was Nov. 17 in 2016.