Temporary Closure of Independence Pass Today Starting at 1 PM

November 1, 2011 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Winter storm warning calls for 6 to 9 inches of snow tonight, another storm Friday; pass could stay closed for season. Public, media encouraged to sign up for wireless & e-mail alerts to stay informed about state highway road conditions and closures: http://www.coloradodot.info/.

LAKE/PITKIN COUNTIES – After a sweep of the pass to ensure no motorists—or cyclists—are present, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will close Independence Pass at 1 p.m. today, November 1, due to winter storm forecasts. This closure includes the area from just east of Aspen to west of Twin Lakes, approximately 18 miles.

A re-opening of the pass following the storm tonight (predicted to bring six to nine inches to the area) is undetermined at this point. CDOT could reopen the pass for a few days if it is feasible and safe to do so—however, a storm is also forecasted for this Friday. If the pass does reopen, it will close again on its regularly scheduled seasonal closure of November 7 (Monday) at 2 p.m.

The 12,095-foot pass is closed for the winter every year for the safety of the traveling public. It is often closed temporarily before the goal date—in 2010, the pass closed for the season on October 25, and in 2009 on October 27 (in 2008, the pass closed on November 7.) Each spring, CDOT plans the opening of Independence Pass for Memorial Day weekend in May, weather permitting. The alternate route to Aspen during the months Independence Pass is closed is I-70 to Glenwood Springs, and SH 82 into Aspen.

ROAD CLOSURE INFORMATION: Motorists are encouraged to check CDOT’s traveler information site at www.cotrip.org. The pass closure will be noted on the right-hand side in the “Travel Alerts” menu. The public may also call 511 from anywhere in the state to get road conditions . For winter weather driving information and safety tips, go to: http://www.coloradodot.info/TravelInfo/WinterDriving/Index.cfm