CDOT wants to open Independence Pass by Friday evening
State transportation crews are shooting to open Independence Pass by Friday evening, an official said Wednesday.
The road — which normally opens the Thursday before Memorial Day — should be open by 5:30 p.m. Friday, said Tracy Trulove, Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman.
“We’re going to give them the whole day (Friday) to get it done,” Trulove said.
Crews are making solid headway repairing a 100-foot section of guardrail on the Pitkin County side and have cleared the parking lot at the top and paths to the bathrooms, she said.
A look at the opening days since its latest opening in 2008:
2019 – May 31
2018 – May 24
2017 – May 25
2016 – May 26
2015 – May 21
2014 – May 22
2013 – May 23
2012 – May 11 (early opening)
2011 – May 26
2010 – May 27
2009 – May 21
2008 – June 5
Contrary to previous updates, CDOT crews on the Twin Lakes side only reached the summit late Tuesday for the first time, Trulove said. Crews on the Pitkin County side reached the 12,095-foot summit May 17, she said.
The massive amount of snow this winter coupled with avalanches have delayed the Pass’ opening. Slide paths on the Twin Lakes side just above the winter closure gate are much larger than those on the Pitkin County side, Trulove said.
“It’s mind-blowing,” she said.
It is one of the latest openings since 2008, when the pass did not open until June 5 because of the heavy snow season that winter.
Trucks longer than 35 feet never are allowed on Independence Pass. Drivers who violate that law can be fined as much as $1,500.
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