Snowy Photos Show Why Treacherous Independence Pass Closes Every Winter
Independence Pass has officially closed for the season.
Mountain Pass Closes Early
Typically, the closing of Independence Pass on Colorado Highway 82 doesn't close until November, but an early-season snowstorm closed the road this week and the Colorado Department of Transportation decided to close it for the season. The pass has seen snow every day this week and CDOT decided the time was now to shut it down.
Plowing and Travel Is Unsafe
Obviously, the pass will see much more significant snow accumulation in the coming weeks, but the Independence Pass Foundation says "wind-deposited snow has made plowing and travel unsafe."
CDOT says plowing the steep switchbacks on Highway 82 is not safe during the winter months and there are sections of the road that are subject to significant avalanche hazard.
Early November Closure Would Be Typical
Last year, Independence Pass remained open until November 13. Twice in the last 10 years, the highway didn't close until as late as November 17. This year's October closing of Independence Pass marks just the second time in the past 10 it has closed before November.
Typically, Independence Pass remains closed until late May. CDOT normally opens the highway right before the Memorial Holiday Weekend.
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