Rock Slide

(credit: CBS)

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS) – The Colorado Department of Transportation closed US 6 for several hours Thursday to do rock scaling after a slide closed the road for several hours early in the morning.

The slide happened early in the morning when traffic was light. No one was hurt but one driver had a damaged tire.

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Five to ten tons of rocks fell onto the highway. Some were the size of small cars and damaged the guardrail.

Geologists said the slide is not surprising.

“Especially since the rain, we have seen an increase and immediately following in a lot of the canyons, we’ve had a lot of big slides,” said geologist Bob Group.

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The floods that wiped out stretches of road also left behind moisture-laden mountains. Then the arrival of fall means lots of changes in temperatures.

“Typically when you get a lot of moisture and fluctuation in temperature, you get a lot of expansion and that tends to loose that up,” Group explained.

That means gaint rocks dangle precariously hundreds of feet above Colorado’s roadways.

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CDOT had crews climbing the area of Thursday’s rock slide to bring down the loose rocks by hand.