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Fallen Boulders Block Travel, Smash Car, Uproot Trees Along Scenic Vt. Road

The Vermont Agency of Transportation and its contractors were working Thursday to remove massive chunks of stone that fell on and alongside the Notch Road

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Contractors worked Thursday to reopen a stretch of mountainous Vermont road after a destructive series of rockslides left part of it impassable.

High in the Green Mountains, twisty Route 108 is one of the most alluring spots for hikers and drivers alike. Known as the Notch Road, it's so narrow and craggy that cars can only drive between Jeffersonville and Stowe in the warmer months when there's no snow.

This week, a new reminder came that nature's really the one in charge of travel in the area.

Several huge sections of rock crumbled from a ledge, careening toward 108. One ended up blocking the road.

A crew of heavy equipment operators was breaking that boulder apart Thursday and hauling off the pieces.

Another chunk of rock rolled into a parked car. A photo from Vermont State Police showed the stone squashed the vehicle's back end.

No one was hurt when the rock hit the car, Vermont State Police noted.

"I thought it was pretty impressive what those rocks are capable of when they come down," said Chad Cole of Dirt Tech, the contractor brought in by the Vermont Agency of Transportation to remove the boulder that was blocking 108. "I personally have never seen a rock that large fall that far."

Another boulder came tumbling through the woods but stopped short of the road. The rolling rock uprooted most of the trees in its path.

"It definitely reminds you of the dangers that we encounter when we're working in mountainous regions like this in Vermont," Cole said.

Jim Cota with Vermont's Transportation Agency told NECN and NBC10 Boston the state really wanted to reopen Route 108 as quickly and as safely as possible, so the area can stay accessible to both nature lovers and commuters.

Cota said a geologist is currently assessing the risk for future slides.

In his own experience, Cota called the kind of damage to the car and impacts to the road quite rare.

"This hasn't happened in a very, very long time up here," Cota said.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation said some of the fallen stone will find a new purpose: as spots along the road where hikers can take a seat when they're out exploring.

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