Avalanches might challenge reopening of Independence Pass

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Independence Pass

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ASPEN, Colo. — Officials say Highway 82 east of Aspen has been hit with avalanches, likely adding to the challenge of reopening it for the summer.

Independence Pass Foundation Executive Director Karin Teague told The Aspen Times that the highway was in “good shape” until reaching an area near Green Mountain last week.

She says an avalanche has sent snow and debris across the highway through Independence Pass that could cause problems for the Colorado Department of Transportation when it starts plowing.

Department spokeswoman Tracy Trulove says maintenance crews haven’t had time to assess the road, but the volume of snow is going to be a challenge.

The department aims to reopen the scenic pass, which reaches an elevation of 12,095 feet, before Memorial Day weekend.

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