A boulder the size of a house that tumbled across and destroyed a southwestern Colorado state highway last month will be staying exactly where it stopped. State officials plan to rebuild the highway next to it, saving taxpayers money and creating a tourist attraction.
Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday that Colorado will save about $200,000 by not blasting the 8.5 million pound (3.9 million kilograms) boulder. He said people will also have the opportunity to see the boulder dubbed “Memorial Rock,” which fell on Memorial Day weekend.
“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 morning news conference, adding the decision will save taxpayers about $200,000.
It was the largest rock in a rockslide on Colorado Highway 145 near the town of Dolores on May 24 and ended up just off the road.
The Colorado Department of Transportation says the total cost of fixing the road, adding a guardrail in front of the boulder and cleanup will be about $1.3 million.