Vail Daily letter: Dangerous canyon
February 25, 2016
Oddly enough, Randy Wyrick did not mention the terrible rock fall accidents, horrific injuries, and numerous, tragic deaths resulting from the rock falls over the years since the bigger I-70 highway through Glenwood Canyon was built. Yes, the highway is a beautiful, scenic highway and a remarkable feat of engineering.
However, my father, G. Edward Lewis, who was a geologist (as well as a preeminent paleontologist of the 20th century), predicted and stated and warned from the start of discussions, meetings, studies, planning and construction of the canyon project that the initial preparations, and succeeding work including blasting and use of huge, heavy, rumbling machinery over years, would destabilize the canyon walls to an extent that travel would be dangerous (though unpredictable exactly "when") and injuries and deaths would occur due to destabilization of the canyon's rock walls with a resulting dramatic increase in rock falls.
That's why there have been several "500-year" rock fall events in the past 12 years, and numerous other smaller giant-rock falls of lesser severity and damage, but killers just the same.
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