INDEPENDENCE PASS, Colo. (CBS4) – Highway 82 over Independence Pass opens for the season at noon on Thursday.
Officials with the Colorado Department of Transportation said there is still a lot of snow on the pass and there is the possibility that they will need to close the pass temporarily at certain times over the next few weeks to clear snow.
“There is still a good deal of snow that will continue to melt as temperatures on the pass increase. Motorists, particularly motorcyclists, should be mindful of possible icy conditions at times,” officials wrote in a prepared statement.
The 18 mile stretch of Highway 82 runs from Aspen to Twin Lakes and intense avalanche mitigation work is necessary each spring before the road is opened up.
CDOT’s goal each year is to get the pass open before Memorial Day Weekend.
Trail Ridge Road is scheduled to open through Rocky Mountain National Park Friday morning with a “weather permitting” caution because storms are expected, so new snow at high altitudes could make it impossible to open.
North America’s highest paved road will be open Friday, just not to the top of Mt. Evans. CBS4 was on hand as crews cleared Mt. Evans Road late last week. In some spots the snow has been over 20 feet deep. It will open at 9 a.m. as far as Summit Lake. Crews hope to have the rest of the 14-mile stretch all the way to the top of Mt. Evans open within the next week.