CO 82 Independence Pass set to open Thursday May 26

LAKE/PITKIN COUNTIES—CDOT crews have been working for several weeks to clear the way for an on-target opening of Independence Pass at noon on Thursday, May 26.

Updated road conditions are available at or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. Up-to-date information is also available via Twitter (@coloradodot), and be sure to like our Facebook page at

CDOT crews worked with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) on Friday, May 20, to perform avalanche mitigation to clear up to a dozen slide paths that can impact the road. Necessary work to open the gates may include the following:

  • clearing avalanche slide paths (up to 12 total)
  • clearing snow, ice and other debris (from slide paths) from the roadway and shoulders
  • moving concrete barriers before clearing ditches
  • hauling loads of rock debris from the ditches
  • blading asphalt millings on the shoulders to set a barrier
  • resetting barriers and replacing any additional ones that may have been damaged
    (Much of the damaged barrier is recycled for other public agency use, saving disposal costs.)
  • repairing/replacing signs, guardrail and roadside delineators
  • trimming trees and brush
  • patching potholes
  • striping the highway

Sometimes our only chance of getting much-needed maintenance work completed, including filling potholes and removing rocks that have made it to the highway over the winter, is right after we get the pass cleared of snow," said Tim Holbrook, the transportation maintenance supervisor who covers the Aspen side of the pass.

Should the pass open on May 26, CDOT crews will continue the business of keeping this and other state highway mountain passes safe and in good condition for the ensuing summer season ahead. Motorists and cyclists are reminded to always check conditions before traveling mountain passes, as spring snowstorms could close them temporarily or slow traffic at times.