While clearing the 12,095-foot Independence Pass, Colorado Department of Transport (CDOT) crews discovered that a natural avalanche has destroyed a 300-foot stretch of the guardrail, potentially delaying the opening of the pass for the first time in 5-years.
- Related: CDOT Launched 1,500 Avalanche Ordinances this Winter – 22 Failed to Explode and May Be a Threat to Hikers
The pass, closed during the winter months, links Aspen with Twin Lakes and crews were working to have the pass open on May 23rd. As well as the damage to the guardrail, crews are encountering a high-level of debris that is complicating their clean-up efforts.
A record avalanche season in Colorado throughout the winter has brought down many trees and rocks in the area causing problems related to the operation of road clearing equipment.
Tracy Trulove, of CDOT, says “if Mother Nature works with us,” the scheduled opening could be possible. Sunny skies and warm weather could soften the snow and make it easier to move.
For the most up-to-date information, check out the statewide travel alerts on COtrip.org.