Colorado’s high-altitude roadways opening for season |

Colorado’s high-altitude roadways opening for season

Even with the late spring storms and high snow drifts (some upwards of 15 feet deep) Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews have met their annual Independence Pass reopen date – the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend. Crews reopened SH 82 over Independence Pass Thursday at 2 p.m. Maintenance patrols on the east and west sides have spent the past few days and weeks conducting avalanche control (east side), clearing snow, clearing ditches, sweeping, blading, repairing potholes, striping, signing, repairing guardrail and much more.The 12,095-foot pass is closed each winter, due to harsh winter weather conditions, for the safety of the traveling public. Travelers are reminded that any spring snowstorms could close the pass again temporarily or slow traffic at times. For roadway conditions, or information on CDOT projects statewide, the public can log on to or call 511.State highway crews Friday also reopened the Mount Evans highway. Colorado 5 runs from Echo Lake to the top of 14,264-foot-high Mountain Evans. The highway will stay open through Labor Day weekend. Also open is Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, but rangers say freezing temperatures will probably mean overnight closures through the weekend.Park officials say heavy snowpack will keep the Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Store closed until late next week.Trail Ridge Road has been closed since Oct. 9. Crews began clearing snow in April.The earliest that Trail Ridge Road has opened is May 7, in 2002. The latest it has opened is June 26. That was in 1943.The road climbs to 12,183 feet and connects the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake.

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