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Independence Pass reopens for the season after plowing, rock work

snowplow independence pass 2021
Posted at 3:37 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 17:38:45-04

DENVER – Independence Pass on Colorado Highway 82 reopened for the season Thursday afternoon after a six-month seasonal closure.

The winding high-mountain pass that connects Aspen to Twin Lakes and U.S. Highway 24 required some extensive plowing and the removal of about 25 loads of rocks both above and on the highway before it could reopen.

The road closed for the season on Nov. 13 last year after several closures in the weeks beforehand because of winter weather.

Independence Pass, at 12,095 feet, cross the Continental Divide and is the highest paved highway in the state. It typically closes in late October or early-to-mid November and reopens around Memorial Day.

Because of the tight switchbacks on the pass, commercial and recreational vehicles 35 feet or longer are prohibited from using the pass. Because of the elevation, it is nearly always prone to closures due to poor weather conditions and rockslides.

Interstate 70 was shut down at Chacra Friday afternoon because of a severe rollover crash near Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon. The Colorado Department of Transportation is only letting local traffic through the area.

Eastbound drivers are being redirected from Rifle, up to Craig, over to Kremmling, and back down to Silverthorne to get around the closure – which is expected to last into late Friday or early Saturday morning on this Memorial Day Weekend, which is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year in Colorado. Westbound I-70 is open through the canyon.

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