2:50pm

Fri May 11, 2012
Parks & Rec

Independence Pass Opens Ahead Of Schedule

The opening of Independence Pass is just another benefit of the early onset of warmer weather this year across Colorado.

The high mountain pass is open as of Friday, May 11th. That's almost two weeks ahead of schedule. Bob Wilson with the Colorado Department of Transportation says last year maintenance crews worked up to the last minute to get Independence Pass opened by  Memorial Day Weekend.

But Wilson says not only did the roadway need there less cleanup and repair need this year, maintenance crews were also able to start work earlier.

"The pass is in pretty good shape. They always have to go up and do some maintenance work when you have a roadway that has been buried in snow and ice for several months."

"We've had clean up crews up there for about a month. It's always a lot of work. But we were able to get up there and get to work sooner than we normally do. Normally we start work on these roadways around the very end of April or the beginning of May. But we were actually able to start work in early April this year."

The roadway closed late last October at the onset of winter weather. Wilson says  he doesn't expect traffic on the roadway to pick up until Memorial Day weekend or the July 4th holiday.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has also announced that Kebler Pass between Gunnison and Somerset and Guanella Pass between Georgetown to Grant are also opening early. 

The DOT reports Mount Evans Road in Clear Creek County from Echo Lake to the summit is on schedule to open the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend.

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