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Colorado Explodes A Giant Boulder Blocking A Highway

Boulder

Check out this giant boulder get blown up so that Colorado can have their highway back.

Last Friday, Colorado suffered a rockslide. That’s not particularly unusual in the mountains of Colorado, but what was unusual was the size of a few boulders. One boulder was so enormous it blocked state Highway 145 roughly 12 miles north of the town of Dolores.

Running 48-feet long, 18-feet high, and weighing roughly 2.3 million pounds, the giant rock carved a trench in the road before finally coming to a stop, its girth completely blocking all passage and forcing the highway to close.

#SWCODOT CO 145 ROCK FALL UPDATE 4 PM: Rock fall mitigation has started on the ridgeline 1000 feet above CO 145. A...

Posted by Colorado Department of Transportation on Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Colorado Department Of Transportation was called in to assess the situation and confirmed that yes, a giant rock had indeed wrecked the highway and come to rest smack-dab in the middle. They had to call in a geotechnical team "to clean and clear loose rock that has been found on the face of the ridge,” according to the CDOT Facebook post, and also see what could be done about the boulder.

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What was eventually decided upon was to remove the boulder using explosives. At 2.3 million pounds, the boulder was way too big to move with through conventional means, so explosives were dropped inside the boulder via drilled holes. You can see the detonation below.

#BoulderBusting A crew has successfully blasted one of the massive boulders that destroyed a section of CO 145 between Cortez and Telluride. CDOT officials are extremely pleased with the outcome. Trucks immediately started hauling the fragments away so that traffic can begin flowing on a temporary road being built by CDOT’s maintenance division. The task of hauling away the rubble may not be completed until tomorrow, (Monday, May 27). The enormous 2.5-million-pound rock (or 1150 tons) tumbled and plowed its way to the two-lane highway from a ridgeline some 1000 feet above on Friday. CDOT officials say the second massive boulder, which created an eight-foot trench across both lanes and landed on the east side of the road, may remain where it sits. #SWCODOT #CO145 #RockSlide #RockFall #MontezumaCounty #Dolores #Cortez #DoloresCounty #Rico #SanMiguelCounty #Telluride

Posted by Colorado Department of Transportation on Sunday, May 26, 2019

Ground crews came in to start removing the smaller pieces after it had been blown to smithereens. Cleanup crews have so far managed to repair the highway and remove enough debris to reopen a single lane, but far more repairs are needed before the entire highway is reopened.

An even larger boulder fell some distance away and is estimated to be 50 feet tall and 50 feet wide and weighing upwards of 8.5 million lbs. That boulder also tore a path through the highway, but at least came to rest some distance away. CDOT says that boulder will stay where it is and won’t be blown up, sadly.

(via Motor1)

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