Colorado Department of Transportation crews are working to open the road by Friday.

Highway 82 over the pass closes for the season in early November and is usually reopens the Thursday before Memorial Day. This winter was anything but "usual" with a much needed record-setting snowpack. Add to that a couple of late-season avalanches that dumped 15 feet deep of snow along a quarter-mile stretch of Highway 82, and what you get is more than the Colorado Department of Transportation crews could handle to make the traditional opening day.

The good news is that the CDOT crews are making headway and plan to have Highway 82 over Independence Pass open about 5:30 PM Friday evening. That's according to CDOT spokeswoman Tracy Trulove “We’re going to give them the whole day (Friday) to get it done.” CDOT crews are also making repairs along a 100-foot section of a damaged guardrail on the Pitkin County side. Crews were successful in clearing the parking lot at the top and the paths to the roadside bathrooms. "It’s mind-blowing...” continued Trulove. CDOT crews working up the Twin Lakes side finally reached the summit late on Tuesday afternoon.

This year's opening date is one of the latest in recent history. Back in 2008, the pass didn't open until June 5th because of a late-season heavy snow storm.

Credit: The Aspen Times