Colorado officials to reroute highway traffic around boulder weighing 8.5M pounds

The 8.5 million pound boulder that tumbled onto a Colorado highway as part of a "significant" rock fall will remain where it is — and officials plan to reroute traffic on the roadway because of it.

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday that, while it would cost $1.5 million to repair the road and blast apart the rock, $200,000 in taxpayer money will be saved by not blowing up the massive boulder, though the state will still spend a sizable $1.3 million to reroute Colorado Highway 145.

The massive boulder weighs an estimated 8.5 million pounds will stay put on Colorado Highway 145, officials said.

The massive boulder weighs an estimated 8.5 million pounds will stay put on Colorado Highway 145, officials said. (Colorado Department of Transportation)

The move would save taxpayers money, and possibly create a tourist attraction. Officials said some of the $1.3 million will come from federal emergency funding.

The boulder crashed down onto the highway on May 24 near the town of Dolores, located in the southwest part of the state. It was one of several that tumbled onto the street, and carved an 8-foot trench as it went over the roadway. Officials quickly said the highway was "indefinitely" closed because of the rocks.

COLORADO HIGHWAY CLOSED 'INDEFINITELY' AFTER MASSIVE BOULDERS SMASH ROADWAY

Last week, one of the massive boulders — weighing an estimated 2.3 million pounds — was blasted by construction crews who tried to reopen the roadway.

The massive rock "indefinitely" closed Highway 145.

The massive rock "indefinitely" closed Highway 145. (City of Ouray)

Colorado's Department of Transportation said the crews immediately hauled the rock fragments away in order to reopen the road.

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It’s relatively common for boulders and smaller rocks to fall on mountain highways, particularly in spring after the repeated melting and freezing of snow and ice creates new fissures on the mountainside.

Fox News' Travis Fedschun and The Associated Press contributed to this report.