Independence Pass Set to Open Thursday

Independence Pass to Open May 26, 2016
Published Monday, May 23, 2016

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) crews have been working for several weeks to clear the way for an on-target opening of Independence Pass on Thursday, May 26 at Noon.

Last Friday, CDOT crews worked with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) to perform avalanche mitigation to clear up to one dozen slide paths that can impact the road. Necessary work to open the gates may include the following:

  • Clearing avalanche slide paths (up to 12 total)

  • Clearing snow, ice and other debris (from slide paths) from the roadway and shoulders

  • Moving concrete barriers before clearing ditches

  • Hauling out loads of rock debris from the ditches

  • Blading asphalt millings on the shoulders to set barrier

  • Resetting barriers and replacing any additional that may have been damaged (much of the damaged barrier is recycled for other public agency use, saving disposal costs)

  • Repairing/replacing signs, guardrail and roadside delineators

  • Trimming trees and brush

  • Patching potholes

  • Striping the highway

"Sometimes our only chance of getting much needed maintenance work completed, including filling potholes and removing rocks that have made it to the highway over the winter, is right after we get the pass cleared of snow," said Tim Holbrook, Transportation Maintenance Supervisor that covers the Aspen side of the pass.

Should the pass open on May 26, CDOT crews will continue the business of keeping this and other state highway mountain passes safe and in good condition for the ensuing summer season ahead. Motorists and cyclists are reminded to always check conditions prior to traveling mountain passes, as spring snowstorms could close them temporarily or slow traffic at times.

TRAVELER SAFETY MESSAGE: Updated road conditions are available at or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. Up to date information is also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to "Like" our Facebook page