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Avalanches might challenge reopening of Independence Pass

Posted at 1:13 PM, Mar 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-24 15:13:17-04

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Officials say a mountain road near Aspen has been hit with avalanches, likely adding to the challenge of reopening it for the summer.

Independence Pass Foundation Executive Director Karin Teague tells The Aspen Times that State Highway 82 was in “good shape” until reaching an area near Green Mountain last week.

She says an avalanche has sent snow and debris across the highway through Independence Pass that could cause problems for the state Department of Transportation when they start plowing.

Department spokeswoman Tracy Trulove says maintenance crews haven’t had time to assess the road, but the volume of snow is going to be a challenge.

The department aims to reopen the scenic pass, which reaches an elevation of 12,095 feet (3,686 meters), before Memorial Day weekend.