Avalanche work closes Colorado Highway 65

Heavy snowfall on Grand Mesa was expected to force the closure of Colorado Highway 65 overnight, potentially continuing through midday today, as state highway crews aimed to relieve growing avalanche worry.

The closure was scheduled in both directions at mile marker 34, roughly a mile south of Mesa Lakes Lodge, and was expected to continue through about noon today, although there wasn’t a clear time frame for finishing avalanche mitigation work, said Nancy Shanks, spokeswoman with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Crews will be firing various explosives along the mountainside toward triggering small, controlled avalanches, Shanks said.

As of midafternoon Thursday, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said Grand Mesa had “considerable” avalanche danger at near-treeline slopes, with more snow on the way. The mesa reported 16 fresh inches of snow as of late Thursday afternoon.

The road closure will mean Powderhorn Mountain Resort will only be accessible from the north end of Highway 65.

Road conditions are updated at http://www.cotrip.org, while avalanche danger updates are available at https://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php.


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