Part of highway north of Rifle washes out; road closed to state park
A stretch of Highway 325 above Rifle Gap is closed to all but local traffic after a bank failure washed out part of the road about two miles north of Rifle Gap Reservoir, the Colorado Department of Transportation said.
Just before 7 a.m. Friday morning, CDOT was alerted to reports of road damage on the northbound lane of Highway 325 north of Rifle. The bank failure is approximately 200 feet long by 8 feet wide.
Initially, just the northbound lane was closed and one lane of alternating traffic was being controlled by a portable stop light signal until officials made the decision to close the road altogether.
Highway lanes north and south of the incident, as well as the southbound lane, will continue to be monitored for structural integrity and safety, according to the release.
CDOT’s engineering teams are assessing the damage and reconstruction plans.
The closure cuts off direct access to the popular camping and rock climbing destinations of Rifle Falls State Park and Rifle Mountain Park, as well as to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Rifle Fish Hatchery.
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Kevin Warner started his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a wilderness ranger in 2001. Now he’s taking over the key position as Aspen-Sopris District Ranger.