What Are These Weird New Ships By Colorado Mountain Passes?
According to a report from the Colorado Department of Transportation, some egg-shaped devices lined up around Eisenhower Tunnel, Berthoud Pass, and Wolf Creek Pass are actually avalanche mitigation devices.
Gazex Avalanche Control Systems in Colorado
CDOT says that these ship-like devices are being deployed to assist with avalanche control. 9 News spoke with Jamie Yont, CDOT's winter operations manager who informed them that there are currently 16 Gazex units within the Centennial State.
12 of the units are located near the Eisenhower-Johnson tunnels, 2 at Berthoud Pass, and another 2 are located at Wolf Creek Pass.
How the Gazex & O’bellx Avalanche-Control System Works
The system is responsible for:
mixing oxygen and propane, or hydrogen gas, in exploder nozzles at the top of high-risk zones. When the gas mixture explodes, the force of the explosion is directed down toward the snow, producing a controlled avalanche.
By using this remote system, CDOT is able to create safer operations for the workers and also safer driving conditions for the public.
Instead of allowing large accumulations of snow to build and cause unexpected avalanches, the avalanche control system will enable CDOT to trigger avalanches during off-peak hours for easier cleanup.
The new avalanche control system is also said to be more accurate and better for the environment since it leaves no waste on the mountain as previous methods did before.
The Gazex devices are also equipped with solar panels for easy charging.