It’s official: Independence Pass to remain closed | AspenTimes.com

It’s official: Independence Pass to remain closed

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Highway 82 over Independence Pass, southeast of Aspen, is closed for the winter season.

The Colorado Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that the pass, closed Tuesday at 1 p.m. in advance of a winter storm, will not be reopened. The pass had been scheduled to close for the winter in less than a week anyway – Nov. 7 is the annual closure date unless winter weather forces CDOT to lock the gates earlier.

In 2010, the pass closed for the season on Oct. 25, according to CDOT. It closed Oct. 27 in 2009, but remained open until Nov. 7 in 2008, CDOT said.

With four inches of snow west of the pass (on the Aspen side) and eight inches on the east side, plus cold temperatures, ice and packed snow on the roadway, CDOT decided keeping the pass closed was the best course of action for motorist safety.

That means the lower reaches of the pass, past the closure gate outside of Aspen, will become a playground for skiers, snowmobilers, dogs and pedestrians for the winter months.

After a swift-moving storm blew into the mountains Tuesday evening, sunny skies returned to Aspen by mid-morning Wednesday. Clear skies are forecast until Friday night, when another weather system is expected to move into Colorado.

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