Twin Lakes: Volunteer Award & Avalanche Update
Friend of Twin Lakes Receives Award
Kelly Sweeney was presented the Volunteer of the Year award by the South Central Region of Homeland according to a media advisory released by the Lake County Public Information Officer last week.
Recognized for her dedication to the Southern Fire Station project and many other projects she works on for the Friends of Twin Lakes, Sweeny was presented the award at the annual Colorado Emergency Management Association (CEMA) Conference. This award is presented annually to 1 individual from each of the Homeland Security Regions in Colorado. Recipients are nominated by members of their region and the final recipient is selected based on their individual efforts.
The Friends of Twin Lakes is a non-profit organization focused on preserving the many historically significant aspects of the area, and working with the Forest Service and local governments to improve the quality of life for the visitors and residents of southern Lake County and surrounding areas.
- Preserve and enhance historical character of Twin Lakes, Colorado and the Lake Creek and Box Creek valleys in southern Lake County Colorado.
- Initiate and coordinate interaction with governmental agencies and operations that have projects impacting the area.
- Assist locally owned and operated businesses connect with resources, training and grant funds to begin, expand or develop businesses in the area.
- Support the community interests of individuals and businesses in the area to improve quality of life.
- Present a united front to other organizations which have interests and business in and around the area.
The Southern Spring Thaw Begins in Twin Lakes
CDOT Responsible for (Partial) Highway Clean-Up
In other emergency-related news, Leadville Today (LT) does have a follow-up regarding the March 9 avalanche that happened near Monitor Rock on Highway 82.
Following up on concerns that the leftover debris field from the slide could further complicate things in the area, LT reached out to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to determine what their obligation was beyond clearing the snow (and debris) from the initial incident off of the highway.
Tracy Trulove, the Communications Manager for CDOT’s Region 3 which includes Lake County provided the following answer:
“CDOT’s right of way is from centerline of the highway 50 feet. Our responsibility will be to clear the debris within our ROW (so from the shoulder of the highway that’s about 35 feet of ROW to clear). Any other debris would be the responsibility of the Forest Service.”
Good to know! Next step: what is the USFS’s plan for cleaning up the remainder of the tree trunks, branches, rocks and general slide mess? Mountain temperatures are warming and alpine snows are melting, slowly carrying the debris downhill towards the caverness western portal of Lake Creek. And Independence Pass is only two months away from its traditional opening on Memorial Day weekend. So what’s the plan? Stay tuned! LT will provide updates as they come in.
In the meantime, CDOT’S Trulove also passed along the following reminders regarding:
Independence Pass Travel Information
- Each year, this two-lane, 12,095-foot pass closes for the winter for the safety of the travelling public and CDOT maintenance crews. It typically closes on or near Nov. 7 and almost always re-opens on the Thursday before Memorial Day each May. Please check the “Alerts and Restrictions” section of www.cotrip.org for status updates.
- Note: Oversized and overweight vehicles are strictly prohibited from using the Pass at any time due to narrow and winding roads and steep inclines. Absolutely no vehicles over 35 feet in length (this includes a vehicle and trailer that, together, exceed 35 feet) may use the Pass at any time. These pass restrictions lie between MP 42 (Aspen side) and MP 84.2 (Leadville/Twin Lakes side, about one mile west of the junction with US 24).
- When driving on State Highway 82 over Independence Pass, use extra caution and remember to share the road. Always keep your eyes on the road and drive slowly while remaining prepared to yield. Cyclists are often present and can be difficult to see around curves in the mountain road. There are also many vehicles entering and leaving the roadway to enjoy the recreational opportunities presented by the Pass.
- Rockfall remains an issue on this stretch of SH 82 with occasional rocks in the roadway and even the infrequent road closure. The tight curves and single lane segments of the highway require heightened attention by drivers.
- The character and natural beauty of the Pass draw a large number of bicyclists and sightseers. Consequently, sharing access to this Scenic and Historic Byway requires considerable attention.