City to send complaints about rock fall to insurer | AspenTimes.com
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City to send complaints about rock fall to insurer

Naomi Havlen

Residents of a neighborhood on Pitkin Mesa Road above Cemetery Lane can file complaints with the city after large rocks tumbled off a nearby slope, damaging two cars and possibly a garage.

Neighbors in the area who spoke to The Aspen Times felt fairly certain that construction of the bike path along Cemetery Lane had caused the incident, saying they’ve felt their homes shake as a result of the project.

Members of the city’s engineering department have been to the neighborhood to take a look at the damage left after the rock fall early Friday morning, said Assistant City Manager Ed Sadler.

The rocks left divots in the street where they bounced across the pavement. One rock tumbled into two parked cars, bashing out taillights before coming to rest next to one of the vehicles. The cars’ owner, who didn’t want to be identified, said the rock fall sounded like a large car crash outside his window at 1:30 a.m.

“It could have bounced through my bedroom window,” he said, noting that he sleeps 15 feet from where the boulder landed. “I’m lucky to be alive.”

Another rock rolled through a parking lot just below the Pitkin Mesa homes, and it appeared that a third rock pierced the wall of a garage.

Sadler said residents are welcome to file claims with the city that will be forwarded to the city’s insurance company. The residents will be compensated if the insurance company finds their claims valid, but Sadler doesn’t believe the trail construction in the area caused the rock fall.

“Our work that deals with any heavy construction like pile-driving [ended] in January,” Sadler said. “Now we’re pouring concrete out there. It’s not like they’ve been doing any pile driving since December and January.”

Sadler said the city also had vibration monitors in the area during the heaviest parts of construction to ensure the project didn’t endanger nearby homes.

Residents say that while they see smaller rocks fall frequently on the steep slope above their homes, they’ve never seen a rock fall of this size.

Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com


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