UPDATE: Vail Pass reopens following scheduled maintenance operations
2:29 p.m. UPDATE: Vail Pass is open in both directions after a scheduled closure Thursday afternoon for winter maintenance.
The scheduled closure started at around 1 p.m.
The closure was announced Wednesday evening as a storm pounded Vail; Vail Pass was also closed for about three hours on Wednesday afternoon.
The Vail area was under a winter storm warning until noon on Thursday, with the National Weather Service calling for difficult travel conditions due to blowing snow.
All real-time updates will be posted on COtrip.org.
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It’s the second planned closure for Vail Pass in as many weeks; on Dec. 27 a scheduled closure also took place for avalanche mitigation work.
While that work took about an hour, an accident on Vail Pass prolonged the closure, snarling traffic in Vail.
The closure point for eastbound traffic on Dec. 27 was also Exit 176 in Main Vail; the ensuing traffic clogged roundabouts in town.
The planed closures help reduce the chances of unplanned closures and create safer roadways, according to officials.
The crash rate on Vail Pass is the highest for all of I-70 per million miles traveled in Colorado, according to CDOT.