Highway 50 open after multi-hour closure
Colorado State Patrol Press Release
Originally published 2013-03-07
(This press release was supplied to the Times by the Colorado State Patrol. Check back in for any further developments regarding the incident).
Colorado Highway 50 has reopened from Montrose to Gunnison after the Colorado State Patrol and other agencies including Grand Junction Police, CDOT, and State Parks determined an object found near the highway was not explosive in nature.
At approximately 5:00 PM a CDOT worker observed a suspicious object containing unknown contents on a pole at the Dillon Pinnacles overlook area. This area is adjacent to the Blue Mesa Reservoir on Highway 50, approximately 4 to 5 road miles east of the Blue Mesa Dam in Gunnison County. State Patrol responded and the Trooper determined that due to the circumstances with the object it was possibly a device that could compromise the public's safety. The decision was made to close the highway and secure the area. HAZMAT crews and the Grand Junction Bomb Squad were called in to evaluate and assist.
Shortly after arriving the Bomb Squad determined the item was inherit, not explosive and not hazardous material. It was taken into custody for further testing and evaluation.
During the response time highway 50 was shut down in both directions from Montrose to Gunnison (mile markers 91-156) to avoid traffic in the area and allow travelers to find lodging or wait. The highway was closed from approximately 7:30 PM until 10:25 PM. The container and its contents are not being released at this time pending an investigation.