Independence Pass Closes For Season Friday at 1 pm

Nov 9th @ 8:36 am in News, Public Service by Scott Staley

Motorists encouraged to prepare vehicles for winter driving,

check highway & weather conditions before weekend travel



ROAD CONDITION/CLOSURE INFORMATION: To find the conditions and closures, log onto our traveler information site at or call 511 from anywhere in the state. Better yet, sign up to receive wireless text alerts and/or e-mails about road conditions on our web site (see the green phone icon in the upper right-hand corner).


NORTHWEST COLORADO – It’s time to get prepared for winter driving. According to forecasters with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the first major winter storm of the season is moving toward the Colorado mountains. The Colorado Department of Transportation crews are ready for the storm, and use a variety of weather tracking sources to help them prepare, including CAIC’s forecasts. CDOT and CAIC work together each winter on to reduce the incidence of natural avalanches on some 280 slide paths that crews monitor and control in Colorado.


According to CAIC’s report today, “snowfall starts to impact the San Juan Mountains early Friday morning,” CAIC’s November 8 report states. The brunt of the storm arrives in western Colorado late Friday night and spreads eastward on Saturday. A period of moderate to heavy snow is likely for all mountain locations on Saturday.”


Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews are—in mountain areas—on standby for winter storm patrols. This means maintenance area crews (see worker numbers below) are out on 24-hour operation—either on rotating 8- or 12-hour shifts—until they reach dry road conditions. Part of their work in CDOT’s northeast maintenance section will involve closing SH 82 over Independence Pass tomorrow.


“We left the pass open two days beyond our annual goal date of November 7—but this is a significant storm that’s headed our way and it’s time to close it,” CDOT Section 2 Deputy Maintenance Superintendent John David said. “For safety reasons, motorists can expect that pass will remain closed now for the season; we do encourage travelers, though, to always consult travel alerts and road conditions posted on our web site.”


Additional tips for getting prepared for winter weather travel are noted below.


Last year, Colorado experienced a milder than usual winter. The following information details the 2011-2012 winter maintenance efforts throughout CDOT Maintenance Section 3, which is headquartered in Grand Junction and operates out of four main maintenance areas and numerous patrols.

<p>The ridge of high pressure over Colorado will flatten over the next two days as a large closed low-pressure system approaches from the southwest. Warm air will continue to move into the state today with increasing amounts of moisture in the upper portion of the atmosphere. Winds will be in the low to moderate range from the west and southwest statewide. Low-level moisture will increase this evening as the closed low moves into California and begins to track across the southwest US. Precipitation, if any, will be limited to the high peaks until Thursday when moist southwest flow moves into the San Juan Mountains. The combination of the closed low and a second system moving in from the north could make for an interesting holiday weekend.</p>