Photos: Red Mountain Pass closure to continue through weekend, maybe longer
Earlier this week, we shared photos and videos of the efforts to reopen U.S. Highway 550 over Red Mountain Pass after a rock slab the size of a football field tumbled from a nearby cliff; see our previous coverage below. It's been nearly two weeks since the closure was put in place, and the Colorado Department of Transportation reveals that it'll remain off-limits at least through the weekend, and perhaps longer. Here are the latest details, including new photos.
Courtesy of Colorado Department of Transportation/Dan Bender, La Plata County Sheriff's Office
According to CDOT, personnel made progress yesterday scaling more loose rock from an entire field of the stuff and drilling rock anchors to hold netting in place that's intended to restrain more stones from falling.
As we noted in our previous coverage, at least 46 nets are expected to be installed, with helicopters used to hoist them and workers on the cliffs to secure them in place. Not only will crew members be located high above the roadway, but they're have to do their jobs at severe angles, convincing us that whatever they're paid, it's not nearly enough.
No date for the closure's end has been announced, but CDOT staffers expect the work to continue through the weekend.
Here are the most recent pics from the scene, featuring CDOT captions. They're followed by our earlier report.
Courtesy of Colorado Department of Transportation/Dan Bender, La Plata County Sheriff's Office "A helicopter from Silverton Mountain drops safety provisions and supplies to crews on the mountain." Courtesy of Colorado Department of Transportation/Dan Bender, La Plata County Sheriff's Office "Silverton Mtn. helicopter is helping transport rockfall netting to the site; weather dependent, the netting work could begin Thursday; please watch for an update to be sent to local communities and media statewide later this evening."
Continue to see our previous coverage of efforts to reopen Red Mountain Pass, including additional photos and videos.
Courtesy of Colorado Department of Transportation/Dan Bender, La Plata County Sheriff's Office "Red denotes areas where netting is expected to be placed; yellow indicates other areas that are likely to require scaling."