PINEWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (AP/CBS4) — A blasting project that dumped huge boulders on U.S. Highway 36 between Lyons and Pinewood Springs closed the highway Monday and Tuesday but they’ve been cleared and it’s now back open.
Colorado Department of Transportation spokesperson Ashley Mohr said the rocks they blast off hillsides usually crack apart, but those held together so they had to be blasted apart. Mohr said the boulders were “some tough nuts to crack.”
“It was just a large shot yesterday and we’ll have some other big shots throughout the project,” blasting project superintendent Kevin Morgan said. “We’ll just be better preplanned for the next one.”
Only one lane was open for much of Tuesday, but was totally reopened by mid-afternoon.
“Crews also patched the highway where the boulders damaged the roadway,” Mohr said in a statement. “The highway will be unpaved in some spots and center lines are not marked at this time where the boulders came down. However, the edges of the highway are marked and the highway will be continually monitored to ensure it is safe for travel.”
Monday’s scheduled blasting closure was the second of 20 different three-hour blasting operations that are part of the U.S. 36 Emergency Flood Reconstruction project between Lyons and Estes Park following September flooding.
Crews are moving the highway farther away from the St. Vrain River. CDOT says that should keep the highway from being so severely damaged should floods like last fall’s ever happen again.
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