Trail Ridge -- Rock Cut

These picture were taken by parking at the snow field turnout that is just after Rock Cut and hiking back up the road to an overlook on the west side on the road.

Rock Cut, a projecting rock formation at 12,110' elevation, had to be cut through by road crews in order to allow the Trail Ridge Road to pass. The highly resistant rock was blasted away with large quantities of explosives; in one case, 178 shots (a half ton of black powder) were wired together and fired at one time. The workers took special care to preserve the surviving stone monoliths on the down slope side, wrapping them in timber to protect them from rocks hurled by the blasting. Rocks thrown beyond the construction zone were retrieved to avoid marring the landscape. A steam shovel was employed to excavate the blasted material which was crushed and used in bench sections for surfacing. The road through the rock cut is supported on high hand-placed dry-laid stone embankments topped by crenellated parapet wall.

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