Independence Pass closed through Friday morning, CDOT says
Road not closed for season, but second storm expected to last into Thursday
Independence Pass will remain closed through Friday morning because of snow and winter driving conditions on the narrow road, a Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The pass is not yet closed for the season, though some electronic message boards along Highway 82 and Interstate 70 indicated Tuesday that it was, Elise Thatcher said an email to The Aspen Times.
Also, though local law enforcement sources said Tuesday a single-vehicle crash near the top of the pass was the reason for the closure, that was not the cause, she said.
“Both of those messages are incorrect and the closure is due to driving conditions,” Thatcher said. “The safety closure started last night (Tuesday) due to the storm moving through the area. The road already has limited visibility, so winter driving conditions can quickly make it unsafe for motorists.”
The storm dropped six-to-eight inches of snow on the pass, and CDOT crews were making their way up the road Wednesday morning to plow it, she said.
“A second storm is anticipated to move in later today and tomorrow … so we will plow the road as much as possible before the next storm arrives,” Thatcher said in the email.
The second storm is expected to move out of the area Friday morning.
Independence Pass typically closes for the winter around Nov. 7, according to CDOT’s website. The road typically opens for the summer on the Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend, weather permitting.
In 2020, the pass did not close until Nov. 13, which was the latest closure since 2016 when the winter gate about 5 miles east of Aspen closed on Nov. 17. In 2019, the pass had one of its earliest closures when CDOT shut it down for the season on Oct. 28.