Local News

De Beque Rockfall Mitigation Project

De Beque Canyon, CO -
Earlier Wednesday afternoon, the Colorado Department of Transportation set charges to detonate the cliff side of De Beque Canyon to remove any potential rockfall hazards during their interstate construction project.

"Our Geohazards Team with CDOT obviously has De Beque on a pretty high priority list for seeing where mitigation needs to happen, and it just so happens with this current engineering project being this close to the rock wall, getting the chance to see how it's reacting, our team felt we needed to go a little bit further in mitigation", says Tracy Trulove the Region 3 Communications Manager for CDOT.

If you check out our broadcast, you'll notice the rockfall mitigation team scaling the cliff wall. They're there to make sure the rest of the detonation process is going according to plan and that everything is in order, while all the workers on ground-level are moving rocks that were from the explosion site. Once all that's completed, the road is opened for travelers to make it to their destination.

"We're always really prepared to get it done quickly because we recognize it impacts the traveling public", says Trulove.

The detonation was created using a type of rockfall mitigation explosive called "pre-split dynamite", and the rockfall mitigation project will cost the department $125,000 on top of the current existing project costs and will extend the construction by five days.

"There wasn't one thing that stood out, it really is just that there are several areas we have an opportunity to mitigate, so why not just do it while we're in a current project", says Trulove.
CDOT also tells us that there was minimal damage from the explosion, not only making the interstate open up faster for travel but also lowering any potential extra costs they would've had to make due to damages.

CDOT could end of closing the canyon again if they notice any potential rockfall hazards through Thursday and Friday.

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