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May 25, 2011 11:34 PM by John Romero

Independence Pass to open for Memorial Day weekend

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - The Colorado Department of Transportation says Independence Pass near Aspen will be cleared of snow and open in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

State officials say the 12,095-foot pass will be open by Thursday. They had been uncertain that highway crews could clear the highway in time for the traditional opening on the holiday weekend. Crews had to work overtime to plow the snow, which was 25 feet deep in spots.

Maintenance crews on each side of the pass met in the middle Tuesday and are now clearing drifts. The pass is between Aspen and Leadville in the mountains of central Colorado.

Crews are still trying to clear Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, plowing their way through more than 20 feet of snow in spots.

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