Photo by John F. Russell
A Colorado Department of Transportation employee removes rocks from U.S. Highway 40 between Steamboat Springs and Hayden after a rockslide closed the road for about two hours Monday morning. Two westbound vehicles were struck by the sliding rocks. No serious injuries were reported.
Updated March 28, 2011 at 10:16 a.m.
Steamboat Springs Another rockslide closed U.S. Highway 40 between Hayden and Steamboat for about two hours this morning. The highway was reopened to one lane of alternating traffic at about 10:15 a.m.
This morning’s rockslide occurred at about 8 a.m. near mile marker 115, according to the Colorado State Patrol. It is believed that at least one car was damaged by the rockslide, but no one was seriously injured.
One of the boulders that fell into the highway is so large that a crew from Glenwood Springs is being called in to blast it apart with explosives. That work isn't expected to occur until after midday.
Rockslides have seemingly become more common in that area over the past year. Earlier this month a Hayden woman was injured when a rock crashed through the windshield of a vehicle she was riding in. That rock was about 3 inches thick, 6 inches wide and 10 inches long. The incident occurred at about mile marker 116.
A few days later, a significantly larger boulder — about 5 feet by 8 feet — fell from the side of a cliff, landed in the shoulder of the highway and broke into pieces. No one was hurt, but a truck did hit part of the rock.
Last March, a Craig woman was killed when a basketball-sized boulder fell from the cliffs near Mount Harris and crashed through the roof of a car in which she was a passenger.
Over the past two weeks a team of CDOT workers performed rock removal along the cliffs between Hayden and Steamboat. CDOT engineers said they’re looking at longer-term options to increase safety along that zone, including fencing or netting.