Independence Pass near Aspen, CO is expected to open Friday evening, a Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman said yesterday, for the latest opening in over 10-years. CDOT generally attempts to have the pass open on the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, but due to high snowpack and avalanche debris left over from the winter season, crews had more work to do this year.
Workers have been “trying hard, but the weather this week has not been helping the situation,” CDOT spokeswoman Tracy Trulove said, referencing a storm system that kept conditions cold and snowy on the pass Monday through Wednesday morning.
Trulove added CDOT is currently aiming for a 5:30 pm opening of the pass on Friday, giving crews a full day to finish any remaining work. Motorists should check cotrip.org — CDOT’s travel information website — for status updates on Thursday and Friday.
Independence Pass crosses the Continental Divide at 12,095 feet above sea level and connects Aspen and Twin Lakes. It provides a more direct route to the Front Range and the Arkansas River Valley.