COTOPAXI, Colo. (CBS4)- Colorado Department of Transportation crews and contractors continue working to clear rocks and boulders from Monday’s rock slide on Highway 50. They hope to have the highway reopened by Sunday afternoon.
Breaking up the large rocks is taking more time than expected, but CDOT spokeswoman Stacey Stegman said cres made great progess on Saturday. Crews are blasting, drilling and hammering the rocks to break them down. Ten trucks are hauling away the material. When complete, CDOT estimates 300 truckloads will be hauled away.
Stegman said the damage to the road looks minimal. Stegman does not have a final estimate on how much it will cost to clean up the slide and repair the highway.
About 7,000 tons of rock came down on Monday, that’s enough to fill about 30 average-size swimming pools. The slide closed Highway 50 from State Highway 9 at the Royal Gorge to Salida. The road is open to local traffic to Cotopaxi.
Through traffic on Highway 50 is being detoured via State Highway 9 to Hartsel, U.S. 24 west to Johnson’s Village, and U.S. 285 south to Salida and Poncha Springs.
“CDOT thanks the local communities for their patience and understanding while the road has been closed,” Stegman said in a statement.