This past weekend, The Colorado Department of Transportation took care of a giant boulder that closed the Colorado Highway 145 after a “significant” rock fall on Friday afternoon some 12 miles north of Dolores. The rock with an estimated weight of about 2.5 million pounds was blown apart by construction crews and CDOT published a short raw video of the process on its social media channels.
"CDOT officials are extremely pleased with the outcome. Here’s what became of that one massive chunk of rock that tumbled from the ridge 1,000 ft above.”
On Friday last week, the agency announced that the highway is impassable and a team of geotechnical experts was flown up to the ridgeline to clear unstable and loose rocks to prevent further unexpected rockfall. A second, 8.5-million pound rock was also found and it will likely remain where it landed.
“CO Highway 145 is closed indefinitely due to a significant rock fall which occurred late Friday afternoon,” CDOT said in a statement on Facebook. “The slide is located approximately 12 miles north of Dolores, MP 22. The slide consisting of dirt, rock and two huge boulders which have destroyed the full width of the highway pavement, leaving a trench approximately eight feet deep across both lanes.”
Immediately after the controlled explosion, trucks started to haul pieces of the boulder away and allowed crews to begin working on a temporary roadway and reopen the highway for traffic. Officials said the giant rock was nearly the size of a building.
The highway between Cortez and Telluride is now open "to one-lane alternating traffic."