About this time last year, I was on a roadtrip around the U.S. Southwest, which included a drive between Durango and Telluride, Colorado. That stretch was mainly on the beautiful Route 145 through the San Juan Mountains. So I sat up and took notice when I read about this transportation nightmare. On May 24th at the start of the Memorial Day weekend, this 4 million kilogram boulder rolled off a cliff and destroyed part of a highway just north of the village of Dolores, Colorado. Blowing it up to clear the way would cost the state $200,000 so instead Governor Jared Polis turned the huge rock into a tourism plus. The “house-sized” boulder is now named Memorial Rock and is a designated tourist attraction. From UPI:
“We expect that for generations to come, people will have the opportunity to observe this geological masterpiece that we’re calling Memorial Rock,” Polis said at a news conference earlier this week…
The highway will be widened with additional shoulder and a new guardrail will be installed near the rock, Lisa Schwantes, the transportation department’s southwest Colorado spokeswoman, told UPI.
Fixing the two-lane highway will cost about $1.3 million, Polis said, but most of that money will come from emergency funds from the Federal Highway Administration.