State Highway 82 over Independence Pass was closed mid-morning Friday and will remain closed until the spring of 2018.
The pass rises to an elevation of 12,095 feet on the border of Lake and Pitkin counties, and is the highest paved road over the Continental Divide in the United States.
The pass typically closes after the first significant snowfall of the season, or by November 7. This year, crews worked to keep the pass open longer due the replacement of the Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood Springs. The Colorado Department of Transportation was trying to avoid even greater traffic detours and travel difficulty for northwest Colorado by keeping the pass open. The new Grand Avenue Bridge officially opened November 3, however additional construction work will continue into May of next year to wrap up the 30-month project.
Independence Pass connects Aspen and Twin Lakes. During winter months, those heading to Aspen will need to travel on Interstate 70 to Glenwood Springs, then take Highway 82 into the community.
CDOT typically works to open the pass on the Thursday before the Memorial Day weekend, however weather conditions can affect the date from year to year.