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Crews Continue To Clear Red Mountain Pass Debris

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(credit: CDOT)

(credit: CDOT)

OURAY, Colo. (AP/CBS4) – Crews with the Colorado Department of Transportation are getting closer to reopening U.S. Highway 550 over Red Mountain Pass.

Workers installed nine rock fall nets on the debris field on Monday and expect to install seven more on Tuesday.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Officials say a giant slab of rocks about the size of a football field came loose and crumbled into smaller pieces, punching a hole in the highway on Jan. 12.

The closure has severed the only direct route from Ouray to Silverton, normally a 70-mile drive over Red Mountain Pass. A detour over Dallas Divide and Lizard Head Pass adds nearly 100 miles to the trip.

Transportation officials say an average of 2,200 vehicles a day use the highway.

Below are three YouTube videos taken by Dan Bender with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office:

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) 

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