Boulder Canyon Drive has been reopened after Wednesday’s rock slide despite earlier reports from the Colorado Department of Transportation that the cleanup could close the highway for up to three days.
CDOT sent out a release stating one lane of alternating traffic on Colo. 119, known as Boulder Canyon Drive in that area, had been reopened at 4 a.m. after experts determined the slope of the rockface was stable and did not need the further blasting officials initially expected.
CO 119 NB/SB: Road open between Fourmile Canyon Dr and Arapahoe Av. Road open after rock slide cleanup. https://t.co/5FZrfjjy2L
— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) September 12, 2019
Scheduled blasting on Wednesday brought down about 20 times more rock than expected, which led to a closure.
After saying the closure would last at least 24 hours, CDOT later said it would take several days to clear the road due to the size of the boulders that came down and a need for additional blasting.
CDOT said this morning some of the boulders were the size of buses and needed to be broken up before they could be removed. But geotech experts determined the slope was stable enough that no further blasting on the rockface was needed before crews could begin working on clearing the road.
With that hurdle cleared, crews were able to get the blasting on the boulders done overnight, and cleared enough room for one lane to be opened.
“We thank everyone for their continued patience as we work through a technically complex effort,” CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said in a statement. “This work is important for keeping people safe when driving in mountain areas, but it’s difficult work and we know that it causes inconvenience for the traveling public during construction.”
The Boulder Valley School District had initially planned alternate routes for its buses, but sent out an alert this morning indicating the reopening was “great news” and that bus routes that use Colo. 119 would return to normal.
Great news! Boulder Canyon has reopened following yesterday's rock slide! https://t.co/tUaDhXwtlM
— Boulder Valley School District (@BVSDcolorado) September 12, 2019
However, Boulder Canyon will shut down again at 10 a.m. for the normally scheduled closure, and will reopen at 2 p.m. There are no planned closures on Friday or over the weekend.