The wet weather socked the state and forced two major highways to close Tuesday afternoon and remain closed through the busy evening commute.Southbound Highway 285 was closed after a 50-ton boulder fell on the road at about 2 p.m. The road reopened just before 11 p.m.The boulder -- which is 12 feet by 12 feet by 10 feet -- sat on two southbound lanes so southbound Highway 285 was closed at milepost 246.7, near Parmalee Gulch, CDOT said. Northbound traffic was allowed through the area but was limited to one lane.The boulder was so large that CDOT equipment could not move it from the highway so crews had to blast the boulder into more manageable chunks. Workers drilled a hole in the middle of the boulder, stuck dynamite in it and then blew it up into pieces that were then bulldozed out of the way.During the blasting and cleanup, all northbound and southbound lanes were closed.Fortunately, no one was caught or hurt by the tumbling boulder. Wet weather loosened the massive rock from the hillside and caused it to roll down to the road, CDOT said.A trucker from Kentucky said he heard the loud rumbling of a freight train before he saw the boulder tumble down and crash onto the road -- about a car's length in front of him."It slammed there right on the street -- dead in front of me," said trucker Steven Jones.Jones said it's his lucky day and said he plans to buy a lottery ticket later.The incident backed up traffic for 1.5 miles, and it took almost two hours to clear because cars were redirected on to Highway 8.
Southbound I-25 Closes From Lincoln Ave. To Springs
Southbound Interstate 25 from Lincoln Avenue to Colorado Springs was shut down for five hours before it reopened at about 8:30 p.m.CDOT closed it at 3 p.m. because of traffic backups that were 12 miles long. Weather conditions deteriorated in the south metro area during the afternoon hours and the delay for drivers in the area was about four hours long, CDOT said.Unfortunately, the alternate route -- Highway 83 -- was also closed from Franktown to Colorado Springs because travel conditions were too treacherous, CDOT said.
Other Road Woes, Highway Closures
I-25 and Highway 285 weren't the only problems on the road.Here's a list, as compiled by CDOT:
The ramp from northbound I-25 to westbound 6th Avenue was shut down because of standing water and drainage problems.
U.S. Highway 40 Berthoud Pass is closed due to avalanche danger and will remain closed overnight, as will U.S. Highway 6 Loveland Pass.
Colorado Highway 83 is closed south of Franktown into Colorado Springs due to adverse conditions.
U.S. Highway 24 between Colorado Springs and Limon is closed due to low visibility.
Colorado Highway 86 is closed from Franktown to Kiowa and Colorado Highway 94 is closed from Colorado Springs to Punkin Center. Both will open when weather conditions improve.
Eastbound I-70 east of the Eisenhower Tunnel was closed at about 8 p.m. because of a jackknifed semitrailer.
Southbound I-25 was stopped between Tomah Road and Monument Hill because of a jackknifed semitrailer.
Northbound Interstate 25 at Trinidad was closed because of a downed power line.
Chains laws are in effect at the Eisenhower Tunnel, I-70 at Mt. Vernon Canyon and northbound I-25 at Monument Hill.Areas that are now open are westbound I-70 at Georgetown; Highway 6 from Highway 119 to Highway 58 following rock cleanup, Highway 67 between Cripple Creek and Deckers, Highway 83 east of Monument to the El Paso County Line, and southbound I-25 at Trinidad.
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