Native American ruins over one thousand years old are going to be paved over by the realignment of Highway 550 near Durango.

The discovery was made several years ago when CDOT was looking at realigning the highway but as more of the site was unearthed, the decision to move ahead with the project was met with resistance.

On one hand, the importance of a find of this nature and the age of it cannot be underestimated while those who continue to develop land and areas in the west chalk it up to expansion in the west and the needs of the general public.

CDOT weigh the impact to the areas, including archeological areas, when highways are created or in this case, moved. Seven sites seemed eligible for the Register of Historic Places, and so plans had to be made to avoid the area or document what had been found.

Finding human remains made it difficult, but not impossible as residential sites such as the one found often contain remains. Once all tribes involved were contacted a ceremony is held before reburial.

With the archeological finds in the area, they were left with no other alternative. Teams will remove as much as possible before construction begins in the spring of 2020.

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