Aspen’s Independence Pass to remain open through this week, maybe longer
The Aspen Times
Independence Pass will remain open through next week, despite the Colorado Department of Transportation’s initial plan to close the gate for the winter season on Monday, CDOT spokeswoman Tracy Trulove said on Friday.
A closure won’t happen next week unless a storm unexpectedly hammers the area, said Trulove, noting that it is an unlikely scenario given the mild weather that’s predicted for the next couple of days.
A team of CDOT officials plan to meet Monday to determine how much longer the high mountain pass could remain open this year.
If the warm weather trend continues, CDOT might decide to close the pass by mid-November, Trulove said, in an effort to better allocate the transportation department’s resources to areas that need more attention, like the I-70 corridor and other high-volume roads.
“There comes a point where (Independence Pass) doesn’t receive a lot of traffic volume at this time of year,” Trulove said. “Unlike our summer and fall seasons.”
On this day last year, Independence Pass had closed early for the season due to a storm that blanketed the area with several inches of snow.
“It’s a little unbelievable for us,” Trulove said of the unseasonal weather. “But a little crummy for the ski areas.”
The two-lane, 12,095-foot pass usually reopens the Thursday prior to Memorial Day weekend, Trulove said.
For the most up to date information on Independence Pass’ closure, visit http://www.cotrip.org.