ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado highway could be closed all week after recurring rock slides damaged the road. The detour for some drivers is nearly two hours for what should normally be a 20 minute drive.
Highway 24 between Minturn and Redcliff is closed as crews work on the boulders high above.
The iconic rock formation known as the Lionshead now sits very close to the road after it came crashing down about a year ago, showing that this mountain range rock fall problem needs some work.
Last April nearly 200 tons of rock came crashing down — boulders so big that they had to be exploded into smaller pieces for cleanup.
A rare mid-winter rock slide occurred in December in the same location. CDOT crews said they’ve had problems the past three weeks because of the freeze-thaw cycle.
“Water gets in, freezes up, wedges out so rocks is a problem,” said David Kuhn, a CDOT field supervisor.
The highway closed Monday as daring crews climbed the massive mountain face, working high on the slope and slowly moving down each day this week.
“They’re doing some scaling above where they’re going to be working, to assure their safety and then they’re going to continue down and move some stone,” explained Kuhn.
Work could continue all week.
Kuhn said the crew will “put some monitors on some existing bigger stones that won’t move and eventually put some attenuator to stop some big rocks from coming down.”
The hope is that they will be able to stop some boulders from damaging the road, which has already been repaired half a dozen times in the past year.
A handful of people missed the numerous signs that say the road is closed, driving a lengthy detour. The highway will remain closed through at least Wednesday, if not the entire week.
The hope is that this rock slide mitigation will finally take care of this rock fall issue on Highway 24.