Crews target May 31 opening for Independence Pass

May 30, 2019 - Crews working toward Friday evening opening

CDOT crews are looking to open Independence Pass around 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 31. We encourage motorists to check throughout Thursday and Friday for status updates before making plans to travel the highway.

Each year, CDOT crews work with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) to perform avalanche mitigation clearing up to one dozen slide paths that can impact the roadway. The helicopter mission with CAIC was completed last Friday. Other important work that crews are performing:

  • clearing avalanche slide paths
  • clearing snow, ice and other debris (from slide paths) from the roadway and shoulders
  • moving concrete barriers before clearing ditches
  • hauling out loads of rock debris from the ditches
  • blading asphalt millings on the shoulders to set barrier
  • resetting barriers and replacing any additional 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

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. Motorists and cyclists should always check conditions prior to traveling mountain passes, as spring snowstorms could close them temporarily or slow traffic at times.

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CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and airports, and administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state's intermodal mobility options. 

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