US: Just the Facts - Colorado highways kept safe from avalanche risk

Source(s): Gazette, the
Photo by Flickr user Alan Stark
Photo by Flickr user Alan Stark

The biggest natural hazard in Colorado is avalanches, reports Gazette Communications. The state leads the nation in avalanche injuries and deaths, with most victims being backcountry skiers, boarders and snowmobilers.

According to the article, above the slide-prone U.S. 40 highway, Colorado's highway department (CDOT) is planning to install a new type of mountain-top avalanche prevention system, which uses regular blasts of compressed air to destabilize the snowpack in problem areas. By triggering mini-avalanches on a regular basis, they're hoping to prevent avalanche-prone areas from building thick sheets of snow. The idea is to improve worker, driver and skier safety in one go, while minimizing the need to use explosives as was done in the past.

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