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CDOT Trying To Stay Ahead During Rock Slide Season

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IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The constant shifts in temperatures Colorado has been experiencing in recent weeks also means a shift in rock walls along places like Interstate 70.

It’s now considered rock slide season, and the Colorado Department of Transportation is trying to stay ahead of it.

CDOT constantly monitors canyon walls in hopes of anticipating where a rock slide might happen before it does. On Tuesday rock around the Twin Tunnels near Idaho Springs had a weak spot.

“We had a rock, a very large boulder that was precarious and we wanted to make sure that we kept the road safe,” said CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford.

As the weather warms, things will continue to shift and slide.

“In the freeze-thaw cycle, so as you start coming into the spring, that’s when you see more rock and rock falls happening,” said Ford.

In January a rock slide shut down Highway 550 in southwestern Colorado and CDOT had to call in specialized help.

“We actually had helicopters helping us because we actually had to use explosives to bring down some of these rocks because the scale of them was large,” said Ford.

It took nearly a month to stabilize the cliff and reopen the highway below.

Crews worked to knock down loose rock and secure wire matting over the hillsides.

More closures on I-70 around the Twin Tunnels are scheduled for Wednesday throughout the day for more mitigation work.

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