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.

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.

US 40 opens to one lane of traffic after morning rockslide

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— 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.

Comments

Candice Martin 3 years ago

20 mile was along ride in this AM! Glad to have an alternative route :)

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Fred Duckels 3 years ago

The time has come to get serious here, the evidence keeps mounting.

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klb 3 years ago

So, this rockslide was at 8:00am? We are just lucky that no one was seriously hurt or killed! Such a scary drive now!

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John St Pierre 3 years ago

With all the people out of work around here.... even hard rock miners... lets get a WPA project going.... lets get out the dynamite, picks, shovels and wheelbarrows out and lets move the damn hillside... our ancestors who first came here... did it that way!!!!! And cheaper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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HowardRoark 3 years ago

I was in the green subaru in this picture. The picture here really does not depict the magnitude of what had occurred. The entire rock wall slid across the road in less then a second, slamming into the truck, driving it toward the guard rail, then into my car as I tried to avoid it. It all happened as fast as a heartbeat. The slab that slid off was the girth of a semi truck with a full load. The entire road rumbled as it smashed apart and sent 500 pound boulders splintering off like rockets through the air. All involved are very lucky to be alive. The guard rail I was pinned against kept me from falling over a cliff 60 feet down onto the railroad tracks. I took pictures of my car with my phone, and was told by the trooper to erase them because he said it was against the law for me to take them. The front of the vehicles really showed the extent of the slide, and this picture was taken after a bulldozer had already been working to remove the boulder for half an hour. I stood on the side of the road freezing for two hours before a tow truck got to my car, at which point I was charged 280.00 for the tow, and 30.00 a day storage. I spent another 40.00 for a taxi home. I have left messeges with the DOT risk management dept. for re-imbusment, but have not heard anything from them. My car is totally crushed. I was on my way to craig where I attend CNCC nursing school. This was the only reliable car my wife and I have; we have a 9 month old son; finances are tight. I am feeling a bit infuriated right now as it appears I have now lost my car, a good part of what little money I had saved up this season, and may have to drop out of a nursing program that I am a year into and actually passing due to something the DOT has supposedly been working on. And just an FYI: The "Falling Rock" sign just doesn't cut it as a defence; it should say "Falling mountain that you can do nothing about if it falls when you are near it". Any pro-bono attorneys out there feeling squirly? Contact me.

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Jeff Kibler 3 years ago

Howard: Wow, what a harrowing experience.
I'm glad that you're physically OK.

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bandmama 3 years ago

Very glad no one was seriously injured! And yes something needs to be done. Question, why would it be against the law to document the incident with cell phone pictures? Isn't this what most insurance companies ask that we do if we may be making a claim? Take photos? Just wondering.

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Fred Duckels 3 years ago

Howard, CDOT does not have any liability so you are on your own, that's the law.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years ago

Mr. Roark says he was ordered by the trooper to erase the photographs he had taken, because they were illegal. Pictures taken of his own property in a public place. Can anyone verify whether or not the trooper's assertion is accurate? If it is, it sounds pretty Orwellian, to me.

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HowardRoark 3 years ago

Dear Mr. Eating Pork Whisky Drinker- I am well versed in our constitutional rights, and I find your assertions accurate. I found the troopers requests odd, but he is an officer of the law, and I truly believe that he was doing what he thought was correct. At least I hope that was the case. A small part of me feared he was following orders from above, but my gut says he was a fresh trooper with a good heart; maybe 8 months tops on the force. If things go anti-freedom, I feel confident that men like the trooper on scene, and the other officers about that responded, will compromise little in their convictions of freedom and defense of our dear constitution. That said, I never disreguarded the troopers request of deleting the pictures, but I am aware of my first amendment rights, so I sent all pictures to my wife, and "forgot" to mention that I had sent them to her. I never lied to the officer, and in my "traumatic state" my thoughts clogged my cognition to a point to omit information that I was not directly questioned. I hope this helps.

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kathy foos 3 years ago

Fred called for more work weeks ago,but it might not have stopped that huge 20 by 10 by 7 foot rock,,,,,,I saw it (the BIG one)will they need dynamite to break it up for removal? So sorry for the loss of your car and I hope everything works out for you Howard.Ive had a five footer roll out(not there) in front of me twice,but what happened to you all is just scary,I would have expected even more rocks to fall with that many falling down. After viewing the mostly cleaned up area(except for the HUGE rock) the person I was riding with suggested that a tunnel might be a solution.With the rock face so close and high up it would be hard to chain off something like the slide that happened this morning. With this heavy wet snow this week,there could be more.

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jk 3 years ago

So I guess I'm being a jerk here Howard or Brian or whatever your name is, but maybe if you had been following at a safe distance you would have been able to stop? From the picture it looks as though you were driving next to the truck??

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hereandthere 3 years ago

The prohibition of the taking of pictures is an interesting twist to this story, to say the least. My "gut' feeling tells me that there is no way that this trooper was correct, and can not even imagine what the justification is for this being illegal. With an avatar of Howard Roark, I would of thought that you would not have accepted this so readily. I also would not be so confident that law enforcement would compromise little in their conviction of freedom and defense of our constitutional rights. Has not always been the case.

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exduffer 3 years ago

Have to agree with jk here Mr. Roark. Watching the plane come in with Tattoo were we?

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Kevin Nerney 3 years ago

Howard Roark --- Interesting screen name wish I had the creative ingenutity to come up with something like that. Sorry for the loss of your car but be thankful no one was killed. My first words when coming on any scene have always been "Is anyone hurt?" After that possesions can always be replaced. For the rest of you Howard Roark is an architect played by Gary Cooper in The Fountainhead.

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Colette Erickson 3 years ago

ILLEGAL to take photos?! WHAT is wrong w/ the CSP?! Really, someone on the newspaper staff needs to follow up on this. Investigative reporting into this infringement on the Constitution?

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trump_suit 3 years ago

Easy to explain. Mr. Patrolman on a powertrip exceeded his authority. Ever see the South Park episode where Cartman was made the Hall Pass enforcer? Similar situation.

Mr Roark should have continued taking pictures. He would have a better case to get damages from the Highway Patrol for harrassment than from CDOT for negligence.

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Donald Kotowski 3 years ago

The patrolman was clearly out of line in demanding that Mr. Roark delete his photos. The Chief of the Colorado State Patrol should immediately issue a statement that The Colorado State Patrol is not in the business of curtailing the rights of its citizens. There is a war being waged on photography by the police in this country. This report by Mr. Roark is but the latest report on another skirmish in that war. I recommend that all citizens take their cameras with them. Record everything you see. Keep the police honest.The police have nothing to fear if they have done nothing wrong.

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