Helicopters help prepare Independence Pass for traffic

May 3, 2017

Avalanche blasting on Independence Pass.
Credit Courtesy of CDOT

Efforts to clear the roads and ensure safe traveling over Independence Pass are underway, and crews plan to mitigate avalanche danger Thursday.

Tracy Trulove with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said Highway 82 is dry up to the Grottos, but this does not mean the pass is ready for travel.

“Even though the snowpack is going down pretty quickly up there, we still have 20 avalanche slide paths that our explosive teams need to mitigate,” Trulove said.

Helicopters will drop explosives on areas that CDOT and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center have identified.

Cyclists and other recreationalists should be cautious of both ongoing maintenance and the avalanche control work.

Independence Pass typically opens for the season near Memorial Day, but Trulove said she hasn’t totally ruled out an early opening, if Thursday’s work allows.