Colorado Department of Transportation reports a natural slide caused extensive damage.

At 12,095 feet Colorado State Highway 82 over Independence Pass is the highest paved crossing of the Continental Divide not only in the US but in North America! The highway closes for the winter at or around November 7th. Depending on snowfall, the road usually re-opens on the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend.

Recently, CDOT discovered an avalanche had taken out a 300 foot stretch of the guardrail and caused other additional damage. Crews are also encountering a large amount of debris including rocks and trees strung along the pass. The repairs and removal of the debris are making having the road open by May 23rd extra challenging. CDOT's Tracy Trulove says, "that this may delay the opening of the road for the first time in at least five years. It’s still up-in-the-air."

Independence Pass is tricky enough even on a good day. If you plan to make a trip over this summer remember to share the road. The views are spectacular but try and keep your eyes on the road and take your time driving through the pass. Watch for cyclists along the road and the numerous curves make it difficult to see oncoming traffic. Also, watch for vehicles entering and leaving the highway. Whenever it reopens, have a fun and safe trip through Independence Pass.

Credit: Out There Colorado