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Concerns raised about Nevada avalanche control system

RENO, Nev. — Nevada transportation officials have said they are identifying backup plans for an avalanche control system on a year-round highway pass amid concerns about reliability.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reported Monday that the remote-operated Gazex system uses propane-powered blasts to trigger controlled avalanches on state Route 431.

The Nevada Department of Transportation says the system has been in place near Mount Rose since 1992 and the building that houses the propane and oxygen tasks is about 12 years old.

Officials say the building receives annual inspections. The next is scheduled this month.

Officials say they aim to make contingency plans in the event they can’t operate during the upcoming winter.

Officials say avalanches clear the snow load from slopes overhanging the highway making the roadway safer for drivers.

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com

The Associated Press