BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The Colorado Department of Transportation is using drones to prevent rock slides from happening in Boulder Canyon. Crews are working from Boulder to Nederland along Highway 119 to carve out the rock walls.
The beauty and serenity of Boulder Canyon was no match for a stick of dynamite Wednesday. CDOT closed down Highway 119 through the canyon to blast off a large rock face on the south side. It is part of a project they will be working on all summer.
“This is part of the regular blasting that we’re doing every day,” said CDOT spokesman Jared Fiel.
Four days a week CDOT will close Highway 119 through Boulder Canyon for a few hours so they can blast away rock to make way for a new roadway.
“We’re getting the road basically back on to bedrock,” said Fiel.
The road is being moved from where it currently sits because of what happened during the September 2013 floods. When the Boulder Creek flooded, it took part of Highway 119 with it. The part that didn’t wash away was the part that was on that bedrock. Engineers want to make sure that never happens again.
“We’re making the road more resilient for the next time that flood hits,” said Fiel.
That means all summer until September, for four hours a day, four days a week, the road will be closed through the canyon for blasting and picking up the rock that came off of the canyon.
“Total for this project is about 40,000 cubic yards. A cubic yard is about the size of a washing machine so 40,000 washing machines are going to be coming down out of this canyon,” said Fiel.
In addition to the road being closed, CDOT is also patrolling hiking trails nearby to make sure no one is in the area when they blast.
For a schedule of road closures visit CDOT’s website or text CANYON to 313131.