Rockslide blocks Frying Pan Road

Joel Stonington
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
A truck passes a rockslide Sunday afternoon on Frying Pan Road above Basalt. Eagle County sheriff's deputy Kirk Wheatley said the slide closed both lanes of the road early Sunday, before it was cleared. (Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times)

BASALT ” A 1,000-cubic-yard rockslide blocked Frying Pan Road near Ruedi Reservoir on Sunday morning before a local resident cleared one lane with his own equipment, according to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

The road still has one lane blocked for roughly a quarter of a mile, said Eagle County road and bridge director Brad Higgins. He expects the cleanup to take at least a few days.

Eagle County deputy Kirk Wheatley said Mike Matheney brought out his own equipment soon after the slide to help make the road passable.

Frying Pan Road only was closed for two hours. However, the larger cleanup is yet to come.

“There’s a possibility of a lot bigger stuff coming down,” Higgins said. “Everything is falling out. When those banks get muddy, it just acts as a lubricant with all the rocks on there.”

Higgins said that rock slide season is in full bloom and the area should expect to see more slides in coming weeks.

The area that slid Sunday was bolted into place with mesh wire covering a destabilized area. Much of the wire went with the slope when it went over the road.

Higgins said that as they pull down the wire, other parts of the slope could slide as well.

“It’s really unstable,” said Wheatley. “When they start moving it, the majority of it will settle.”