Work resumes to stabilize Independence Pass slopes
INDEPENDENCE PASS ” Motorists can expect delays of up to 15 minutes on Highway 82 near the summit of Independence Pass over the next several weeks, but at least it’s for a good cause.
The Independence Pass Foundation launched its annual erosion control projects this week when tourism season slowed. The work will continue through October, weather permitting.
Work is under way between mile makers 60 and 61 just west of the summit of Independence Pass. The foundation will be removing loose rock, stabilizing the ground and building a retaining wall to control rockfall and erosion, according to a statement from the Colorado Department of Transportation. CDOT is providing traffic control.
Further to the west, contractors will install a “compost blanket” lower on the slope from the road. It is intended to improve growing conditions and to support the growth of native grasses and shrubs on the lower slope.
“These projects constitute a continuation of the Foundation’s Top Cut Project, aimed at halting erosion and promoting revegetation of the damaged area,” said Independence Pass Foundation Director Mark Fuller.
The Foundation’s contractors include ELC Inc. of Denver, Aspen Earthmoving and Yenter Cos.
The work will require temporary lane closures and single-lane, alternating traffic between MM 60 and 62 for up to two months. Delays should be no longer than 15 minutes, and motorists should be patient and maintain a safe following distance while traveling through the area.
More information is available at http://www.independencepass.org
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Warm and dry conditions to start the winter have kept all but the higher elevation slopes free of snow. That is expected to change by the end of the week and the avalanche hazard could start to climb, according to Colorado Avalanche Information Center.