McClure Pass set to reopen this afternoon |

McClure Pass set to reopen this afternoon

Aspen Times Staff

State highway crews expect to have Highway 133 over McClure Pass reopened by 4 p.m. today, after closing off the pass Tuesday due to high avalanche danger.

Sixteen new inches of snow had fallen at the pass, located south of Carbondale, by this morning, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. The snowfall was for the prior 24-hour period.

CDOT closed the pass at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, though motorists could still reach Redstone and Marble from the Crystal River Valley side of the pass.

The agency hasn’t closed the pass due to avalanche danger since the early 1990s, said CDOT spokesperson Nancy Shanks. CDOT feared a slide from a pair of bowls between the Marble turnoff and the pass summit ” Hairpin Bowl and Lonetree Bowl.

“One of the bowls up there did run, but it didn’t hit the road,” Shanks said.

By 12:30 p.m. today, CDOT crews were beginning to plow the highway over the pass in anticipation of opening the route by 4 p.m.

Elsewhere in the state, a CDOT crew got caught Tuesday between a pair of slides on Highway 550 south of Silverton in the San Juan Mountains, according to Shanks. They were able to clear their way out.

“One of our crew members nearly got caught,” she said.

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