Boulder removal to reduce U.S. 550 to 1 lane at Bondad

Travel today on U.S. Highway 550 at Bondad Hill will be one-lane and for a period completely halted as highway crews remove a potentially dangerous sandstone block.

There will be a single-lane closure starting at 8 a.m. Then, around midday, the road will be closed in both directions, for 30 minutes, or perhaps longer.

During the project, the Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Yenter Companies will attempt to push the sandstone block off the slope with the use of air bags inserted into cracks behind the block and then inflate them. Once the block is on the road, crews can break it apart and haul the loose material away.

If work with the airbags is unsuccessful, crews will continue work Wednesday and possibly Thursday, and blasting operations may be necessary.

Falling boulders have been a problem for years along the stretch.

In March 2008, a large sandstone block fell from this section, and in March 2010, during regular maintenance, several sandstone blocks were determined to be unstable and were later removed.

That year, another block was flagged for monitoring. The block has since moved, so CDOT decided to remove it before spring rain causes additional shifting.

It is estimated the work will cost $10,000-$15,000.

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