It was late May of 2019. Two rocks, both the size of small houses with the largest weighing in at 8.5 million lbs (3.85 million kg), landed on highway 145 after a rock slide, destroying the road entirely and causing horror for road users. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the cleanup was looking to be extremely expensive and time consuming.
The first rock was blasted and removed, but instead of moving the massive obstacle, Colorado governor Jared Polis is going to keep it exactly where it is and won’t be doing a cleanup of the area. Instead of using an estimated $200,000 of taxpayers’ money to repair the area, he has said he’s going to leave it there as a landmark, named Memorial Rock. This will act as a tourist attraction and will add to the already feature-rich state.
Colorado Department of Transportation released the following statement:
“CO Highway 145 is closed indefinitely due to a significant rock fall which occurred late Friday afternoon. The slide is located approximately 12 miles north of Dolores, MP 22. The slide consisting of dirt, rock and two huge boulders which have destroyed the full width of the highway pavement, leaving a trench approximately eight feet deep across both lanes.”
Polis has released his own statement on Twitter, too. You can find that below.
Everybody meet Memorial Rock.
We will not be destroying this 8.5 million pound boulder – which is the size of a house. Instead, we’re going to make a new state landmark and save taxpayers money.https://t.co/BlkgnKwBEM
— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) June 4, 2019
This is a great idea, and a testament to Polis’ love of his state and its residents.
Repair work of the road is of course a must, and is set to cost about $1.3 million. Until then, the traffic will alternate using the single lane that hasn’t been damaged.