Giant, 10-million-pound boulders, one as large as house, shut down highway

Giant, 10-million-pound boulders, one as large as house, shut down highway

I giant boulder as big as a house is blocking a highway in southwest Colorado after crashing down from a rock ledge on Friday.

MONTEZUMA, Colo. — Two huge boulders crashed onto a highway in southwest Colorado about 12 miles north of Delores in Montezuma County on Friday, shutting down the road indefinitely until crews can remove the rocks.

The rocks, weighing a combined 10 million pounds, plummeted off a cliff some 850 feet above Colorado Highway 145, according to KCNC-TV.

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One of the boulders is as large as house, an official with the Colorado Department of Transportation told KUSA-TV.

The rocks destroyed the highway pavement and created a trench 8 feet deep, CDOT said on social media.

#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 regional transportation director for CDOT in southwest Colorado, Mike McVaugh said repair crews were surprised when they arrived at the scene.

“They sent a plow truck out, they sent a supervisor out. They showed up on-site and they were like, ‘That’s not going to work. We’ve got some really big rocks here,’” McVaugh recounted.

Highway crews are working to repair the road but will have to blast the larger rock into smaller pieces to remove it. Meanwhile, CO 145 between Cortez and Telluride will remain closed.

#SWCODOT CO 145 ROCK FALL UPDATE 2:30 PM: The highway remains closed indefinitely from Dolores (MP 15) to Rico (MP 45)....

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