Large boulder to remain along Highway 145, designated as Memorial Rock

MONTEZUMA COUNTY, Colo. -- An 8.5 million-pound boulder that crashed onto a highway in southwest Colorado will not be destroyed and instead has been designated as Memorial Rock, Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday.

The rock was part of a slide that left an 8-foot trench across the two-lane Highway 145 between Dolores and Telluride on May 24.

Crews blasted one of the two huge boulders that fell 1,000 feet from a ridge line about 10 miles north of Dolores, the Colorado Department of Transportation said.

Polis said the larger boulder will remain and reconstruction of the road will go around it, leaving a permanent fixture in the area.

It's being called Memorial Rock because it fell just before Memorial Day weekend.

Leaving the rock will save the state about $200,000 in blasting and removal costs, Polis said.

Repairing the road will cost about $1.3 million, Polis said.

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