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Actions 16 new websites quickly inform drivers about closed mountain passes across Colorado

With URLs like, it's pretty clear how these 16 websites can help drivers avoid a headache
Loveland Pass_Aaron Cox
Posted at 11:50 AM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 13:50:28-04

LAKE COUNTY, Colo. — Back in 2014, Tracy Francis watched as the questions bounced around his local Facebook groups in Granby: Is Loveland Pass open? What about Berthoud Pass? Had anybody driven Rabbit Ears Pass to see the conditions? Was Vail Pass icy?

He thought there surely was a better way to communicate closures and current road conditions than monitoring a smattering of online chatter. From his home, he decided to work toward a simple solution.

Today, the result of that work is a series of 16 websites with the same straightforward question in each URL:,, and so on. It's been a passion project for Francis, who now calls Leadville home.

IsLovelandPassOpen.com_Drive Colorado

The left side of the website window, as seen above, clearly displays if the pass is open or closed, with smaller icons below detailing the current conditions. Each site also includes cameras and closure history.

The websites are currently live for the following locations:

  1. Loveland Pass
  2. Berthoud Pass
  3. Cameron Pass
  4. Coal Bank Pass
  5. Fremont Pass
  6. Hoosier Pass
  7. Kenosha Pass
  8. Lizard Head Pass
  9. Monarch Pass
  10. Molas Pass
  11. Rabbit Ears Pass
  12. Red Mountain Pass
  13. Tennessee Pass
  14. Vail Pass
  15. Wolf Creek Pass
  16. I-70 from Utah to Kansas

It's all under Francis' company, Drive Colorado. 16 new websites quickly inform drivers about closed mountain passes across Colorado

Back to March of 2014 — as Francis brainstormed the idea for these sites, he reached out to the Colorado Department of Transportation to see if he could obtain some of their data. He said he remembers bouncing around from person to person within CDOT, but after six months, he had about 20,000 lines of statewide data in his hands.

"And then I started having to figure out what to do with the data and how to work with it all," he said. "It was just a giant file. There was no sorting, there was no nothing. So I had to figure out a way to use it."

By October 2015, Francis had released an app that provided route issues and information solely between Denver and the ski resorts. But he realized having websites covering Colorado's major mountain passes would be much more popular.

After some tinkering offline the past few months, the websites returned online on March 1 in a "much cleaner and better way," Francis said.

It now operates not only on CDOT data, but user reports as well. In the interest of privacy, he verifies that the report is valid but does not use any external trackers or analytics. All submitted reports are anonymous.

"I've gotten some good feedback from just random people that will email me like, 'Oh, my God, thank you so much. It is so clean, so simple, I can't appreciate it enough,'" Francis said. "I've got some really good responses. And it's nice to feel that my time and efforts have been well-appreciated."

Francis is currently working on redoing the phone application version of the websites. He said it will sort of work like Waze, but for Colorado roads.

But the work is a hobby of sorts, which he pursues in his free time. The estimate for an app launch is dependent on the extra time he has at nights and on weekends, he said.

"So, hopefully over the summer, I'll start getting things together, since I've rebuilt the whole API (application programming interface) to actually work with what I want it to do now," he explained. "That whole backend is kind of ready. So hopefully, I can actually start developing the app. Probably start with iPhone, and then hopefully the Android version as well."

While Francis has to front the money to pay for the servers and website domains, he said he does not charge for the public to use the websites. You can donate to help with this project through his site here.

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