River Road to reopen tonight


— River Road is due to reopen at 6 p.m. today after a mudslide closed the road in both directions near Tree Haus on Tuesday.

The mudslide closed River Road about three-tenths of a mile north of the intersection of Routt County Road 14 and Mount Werner Road. Since the slide, the road has been closed between the Tree Haus and Brooklyn neighborhoods.

New culverts were installed at the slide site Wednesday, and finishing work is being done on erosion control features including check dams and silt traps, Routt County Road and Bridge Director Paul Draper said.

Keeping the ditch alongside the road clear will be Road and Bridge's major concern, as water pooling in the area could compromise the integrity of the road.

"In case the slide continues to move, we need to be sure to protect the ditch," Draper said.

Although lines for nearly all utilities run through the slide area, nearby residents did not experience any service interruptions, Draper said. However, River Road is on school bus routes, so buses traveling between Brooklyn and Tree Haus have had to bypass the slide area, he said.

Although the road and its right-of-way are the county's responsibility, stabilizing the hillside will fall to the property owner, Draper said.

Tuesday's slide occurred in the same location as a larger slide that struck Sept. 6, 2007, on the hill underneath Valerie Perea's home. Earlier this week, Perea declined to comment at the advice of her attorney, because of pending legal action. She could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Soon after the slide occurred last year, Perea told the Steamboat Pilot & Today that she thought the slide was the result of trenching done at the base of the hillside by the Yampa Valley Electric Association. County officials said they thought YVEA was not to blame.

Two weeks after the slide occurred, Perea turned her focus to the Mount Werner Water and Sanitation District. She said a broken three-quarter-inch copper water pipe might have contributed to the slide. The 40-year-old pipe could have been leaking for weeks or months and was only found because of the slide, Perea said.

People with questions about the road closure on River Road can call the Routt County Road and Bridge Department at 879-0831.


steamvent 9 years ago

So, if the property owner didn't stabilize the hill after the first slide, who is paying for the work the County is doing?


oldskoolstmbt 9 years ago

one of my sceince teachers told our class to never buy property in tree haus because the whole area is a slide zone...this was 23 years ago, now i believe the guy knew what he was talking about...


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