PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Highway 82 over Independence Pass will remain closed indefinitely. The Colorado Department of Transportation announced the closure of Highway 82 over Independence Pass on Wednesday afternoon due to heavy traffic and safety concerns.
The pass will remain closed until further notice.
CO 82 EB/WB: Road closed between Tagert Lake Rd and Carlton Tunnel Rd. Independence Pass Closed. No Estimated time of opening. Alternate route advised. https://t.co/KN6CcGlyuh
— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) August 12, 2020
CDOT says that with Interstate 70 closed between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum due to wildfires, specifically the Grizzly Creek Fire, drivers have been using Highway 82 even though it’s not an advised detour route.
REMINDER: @ColoradoDOT SAFE detours only, please!
🚫🚨Cottonwood Pass is CLOSED until further notice due to fire activity!
🚫🚨Independence Pass is CLOSED until further notice.
🚨⚠️Hagerman Pass Road is a 4X4 ONLY road that is only accessible to high clearance vehicles! pic.twitter.com/GJdChD1SQT
— Eagle County Sheriff's Office (@EagleCountySO) August 12, 2020
The Grizzly Creek Fire has now burned more than 3,700 acres, and for a third day Interstate 70 was closed through Glenwood Canyon. The fire, located east of Glenwood Springs, continues to burn in steep slopes of Glenwood Canyon and that has made the firefight very difficult to attack from the ground.
The eastbound closure point is a few miles east of Aspen with westbound several miles west of Twin Lakes at the intersection of U.S. Highway 24.
According to CDOT, “The combination of heavy traffic, the narrow width of the highway in several locations and vehicle length restrictions are creating unsafe travel conditions. Multiple vehicles towing trailers became stuck on the pass and forced closures on the road. CDOT crews are continuing to work to safely move all vehicles through the area.”
CBS4 YouReporter Brian Fisher took photos of Independence Pass after the I-70 closure which show large big rigs trying to get up the mountain while other vehicles are trying to get through. It looks very crowded and dangerous.
CDOT urges drivers to refer to COTrip.org for information on the I-70 detour and other road closures.