In downtown Leadville, the grass is green, temperatures are rising and Jim McCall is hard at work in his red Leadville T-shirt.

"It's sunbathing weather. Once it hits 40 degrees in Leadville it's T-Shirts and shorts," said McCall.

Down the road, Jack Stieber with the Colorado Department of Transportation says another annual spring tradition is also popping,

"It’s our annual Independence Pass avalanche control mission for the year," Stieber said.

CDOT and Colorado Avalanche Information Center crews are along Independence Pass doing avalanche mitigation work before opening one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in the country.

On the ground, crews are plowing a winters worth of snow, while in the air other teams drop bombs from a helicopter for avalanche mitigation.

It's work to make the road between Aspen and Twin Lakes safe for thousands of summer drivers,

"Come Memorial Day weekend when we open there will be a lot of cars up here and we don’t want anything to happen safety to the traveling public is very important to us,” Stieber said.