Highway embankment collapses near Rifle
A portion of highway embankment has collapsed north of Rifle.
A bank failure has washed out part of Colorado Highway 325 about two miles north of Rifle Gap Reservoir, the Colorado Department of Transportation said in a Friday morning press release.
The bank failure is in the northbound lane and is approximately 200 feet long by eight feet wide.
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.
Highway 325 north of Rifle Gap provides access to Rifle Falls State Park, the Rifle Fish Hatchery and Rifle Mountain Park.
An afternoon news release from Garfield County Sheriff’s Office warned that the incident was determined to be caused by excessive water runoff and underground water. The collapse grew worse during the day, extending past the center line of the highway.
Law enforcement noted that alternative roads exist through Silt and New Castle to reach destinations normally accessed from State Highway 325.
“Effective immediately State Highway 325 has been closed to all through traffic. Local traffic will be allowed to pass. Be prepared to identify yourself and your destination before traveling this route,” the release stated. “Check with local Forest Service for directions, maps and further instructions.”
Construction of a new terminal at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport has been delayed at least until next year.