CDOT workers clear  Independence Pass
A snowblower attached to the front of a Colorado Department of Transportation loader chews an 8-foot-wide swath through the 5-foot-high snowpack 2 miles from the summit of Independence Pass. Officials expressed confidence that crews will have the road to the summit cleared by May 23. (Scott Condon, Aspen Times)
ASPEN, Colo.—Independence Pass is open to traffic for the season.

The Colorado Department of Transportation opened Colorado Highway 82 over the pass near Aspen on Thursday afternoon.

Each year, the department tries to get the 12,000-foot pass open in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

In addition to tons of snow, workers had to haul out rock debris, clear ditches and fix damaged asphalt this year.