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June 23, 2014
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Big rockslide will require more road work near McClure Summit but road is open

A rock slide temporarily affected traffic on Highway 133 on Sunday and will require more work to clean up the debris, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Highway 133 is open but large rocks that were pushed to the side of the roadway will have to be blasted into smaller pieces so they can be moved, CDOT spokeswoman Tracy Trulove said.

The rock slide hit at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday and affected traffic for the following three hours, Trulove said. The initial slide damaged a vehicle but no one was injured, according to a report to CDOT.

The slide occurred at mile marker 44, about 1 mile below the summit of McClure Pass.

Crews were able to get traffic flowing while the rocks were pushed off the roadway Sunday afternoon. Traffic was stopped occasionally during the cleanup. “They were able to move traffic around on the shoulder,” Trulove said.

Some of the rocks were as large as a Volkswagen, Trulove said, citing a supervisor’s report from the field. No estimate was available on how many tons of rock fell. Some of the rock accumulated at the mitigation fencing that’s been placed on the hillside above the road, then the accumulated weight allowed rocks to slide under the bottom of the fence, Trulove said. The fencing was effective in slowing down the falling rock, she said.

Some of the larger boulders were pushed off to the side of the road. “We still have some work that we’re going to have to do,” Trulove said. Dynamite will be used to blow up the larger rocks into smaller pieces that can be moved easier. No information is available yet on possible traffic delays during the blasting work.

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The Aspen Times Updated Jun 23, 2014 10:35PM Published Jun 23, 2014 01:44PM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.