An 8.5 million-pound (3.85 million kg) boulder which fell on Highway 145 in Colorado in late May will be turned into a new landmark called ‘Memorial Rock.’
The Colorado Department of Transportation had been exploring a number of different ways to remove the rock in order to clear the road. This included potentially packing it with explosives, blowing it up, and removing the rubble.
Instead, the decision has been made to leave the boulder in place and route the road around it. This will apparently cost $1.3 million, or roughly $200,000 less than it would have cost to blow up the boulder and clear up the mess.
The huge boulder fell approximately 1,000 feet from the ridge above the road and was joined by a smaller one weighing approximately 2.5 million pounds. Crews were able to blow up this one, which was also blocking the road between Cortez and Telluride.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis hasn’t said how long it will take for the road to be rerouted nor when the landmark site will be opened.
Everybody meet Memorial Rock.
We will not be destroying this 8.5 million pound boulder – which is the size of a house. Instead, we’re going to make a new state landmark and save taxpayers money.https://t.co/BlkgnKwBEM
— Jared Polis (@GovofCO) June 4, 2019
When the huge boulders fell to the road, the Colorado Department of Transportation released the following statement:
“CO Highway 145 is closed indefinitely due to a significant rock fall which occurred late Friday afternoon. 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.”