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Rim Rock Drive

  • Building Rim Rock Drive

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    Construction on Rim Rock Drive began in November 1931 and accelerated in 1933, when New Deal agencies such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) started to work on the road. The first CCC workers arrived in May 1933.
    Building Rim Rock Drive
  • Rock Work on Rim Rock Drive

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    For much of its length, the road was built through solid rock using manual labor. Most of the rocks that were drilled, blasted, and sledgehammered to make way for the road were removed by hand or carted away by horses.
    Rock Work on Rim Rock Drive
  • Masonry Work along Rim Rock Drive

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    As with other Civilian Conservation Corps projects, which sought to maximize wages and minimize other expenses, Rim Rock Drive included rustic rock walls. In addition, the road required more than 200 culverts to help it drain and prevent erosion.
    Masonry Work along Rim Rock Drive
  • Rim Rock Drive

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    Work on Rim Rock Drive stopped during World War II but resumed in the late 1940s. All twenty-three miles of the road were completed and paved by 1951.
    Rim Rock Drive
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Alan J. Kania, John Otto of Colorado National Monument (Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1984).

Lisa Schoch-Roberts, A Classic Western Quarrel: A History of the Road Controversy at Colorado National Monument, Cultural Resources Selections 10 (Denver: US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Intermountain Region, 1997).

R. Laurie Simmons and Thomas H. Simmons, with revisions by Kathy McKoy, “Rim Rock Drive Historic District,” National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, (January 1994).

Additional Information: 

Alan J. Kania, Colorado National Monument, Images of America (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2008).

Alan J. Kania, John Otto: Trials and Trails (Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1996).