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Located between Green River and Fremont Junction, San Rafael Reef, a 30-mile-long stone barrier, a saw-toothed ridge at the eastern edge of nowhere. For centuries, only the most intrepid travelers found their way through its narrow slot canyons and on to the Green River crossing. The early Spanish explorers detoured 20 miles north to avoid the forbidding wall. In 1883 the Denver and Rio Grand Railroad also avoided breaching the Reef, laying track just east of its sheer walls, north to Salt Lake City. In 1957 the decision was made to increase the nation's interstate highway system and I-70 was engineered to bisect the San Rafael Swell. Construction begin in October 1967 at Spotted Wolf Canyon. Engineers and surveyors used body harnesses and ropes to work as high as 400 feet above the canyon floor. Crews excavated 3.5 million cubic yards of rock from the area at a cost of $4.5 million for eight miles of road. On November 5, 1970, the Utah Department of Transportation opened the 70-mile section from Fremont Junction to Green River for two-lane traffic. Two more lanes were added in the mid-1980.

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Additional Photos by phuoc phan (pnphan) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 203 W: 29 N: 411] (3957)
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