Latest News – April 19

Road Report: What’s Open, What’s Under Construction

If you’re waking up in Leadville Today, it’s to cloudy, ominous skies that are already bringing a fresh round of snow to the high mountain passes. And some of it could be making its way into town over the next several day. It’s springtime in the Rockies!

The forecast for the next several days will include rain and snow showers along with brief periods of sunshine. And as the seasons battle it out, questions have been coming in concerning seasonal roadways. What’s open, what’s been plowed and when will nearby summer mountain passes be open for the seasons. Welcome to the Leadville Today road report.

If you’ve been up to the east side lately you’ll have noticed that Lake County Road and Bridge crews have already opened up County Road 1 as far as the Hopemore Mine.  Of course there’s still plenty of snow up in the Mosquito Mountain Range basins for those looking to still get some skinny skiing in before the season is done for good. Across the valley, the road to Mosquito Pass is still buried in snow and will not likely to be ready for crossing until late May, depending on how much snow comes between now and then. For locals, you should know better than to try and make the journey, so please don’t direct tourists to take the road. There’s already been one report of having to pull someone out of a snow bank!

Lake County Road 1 has been plowed all the way up to the Hopemore Mine.

The word from Colorado Department of Transportation insiders is that crews will begin to open up Independence pass starting next week. Of course that all depends on how many spring snowstorms the state sees and if adjustments with snowplows have to be made accordingly.  The CDOT web cam atop Indy Pass already indicates that Mother Nature has been doing her share to help open up America’s highest paved pass over the Continental Divide.

The Turquoise Lake road always seems to be the one that has locals chomping at the bit. And while road crews did plow County Road 9c which includes the east side boundary which connects the two portals, the road is still closed to vehicle traffic for the time being. The majority of the lake road will begin to be plowed next week.  Until then the road is closed to vehicles and residents are encouraged NOT to park along the road while the work is being done.

Turquoise Lake is still frozen but recreationalists are asked to use caution when headed out on the ice as conditions change hourly in the spring. The lake road will begin to be plowed starting April 24 according to officials.

For residents who make the commute south you’ve already seen several checkpoints with  road crews out putting sealant down on the roads. This work is expected to continue for at least another week maybe longer, so expect 10-15 minutes delays at each checkpoint – which could be up to three separate stops between Leadville and Buena Vista. Also good to note that law enforcement is monitoring the traffic flow through this route and issuing tickets to impatient offenders, so drive nice.

At this time there is no scheduled road work planned for Highway 91 north to Copper Mountain nor Highway 24 west to Minturn. Here motorists just have to keep an eye on the rock slides, especially at that one point just above Minturn in the ese curve that is notorious for seeing a few boulders come crashing down on to the roadway despite the safety net in place.

So there you have it, if there’s a road that should have been included but was not, drop a note at info@leadvilel  As always,  reach out via LT’s social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter for the latest road conditions and closures. Happy Trails no matter where yours lead in Leadville Today!

It’s springtime in the Rockies! Independence Pass located south west of Leadville is a perfect example of how conditions can ebb and flow on high mountain passess. Crews are expected to start  opening up this popular throughfare sometime next week.

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