Drivers deal with rock slides on northern New Mexico highway

New Mexico

VELARDE, N.M. (KRQE)- It’s that time of year, the boulders are coming down onto Highway 68 in the canyon between Española and Taos. This week one of those tumbling boulders almost took out a driver.

A man said he was driving in the canyon between Española and Taos when he ran into this boulder head-on. The locals said it’s more common than you might think.

“You can hear them tumbling off the top of the hillsides and you’re like well it’s rock season again, it’s rock season 2020,” said Scott Downs.

New Mexico Department of Transporation officials said rocks tend to fall this time of year because the snow is starting to melt which loosens the ground. They say the number of rockslides vary each year depending on the weather.

There is signage throughout the canyon warning drivers to be aware of the rocks and to slow down. They also have placed fencing and nets throughout the canyon to catch the rocks or at least slow them down. 

Ken Barnett, assistant District 5 engineer with NMDOT, says crews patrol the canyon every day clearing rocks from the road. However, people who drive the canyon every day say more needs to be done.

” I think we should have more fencing in other parts of the canyon,” said Downs.

NMDOT says they’re working on getting more funding to install more fencing throughout the canyon.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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