Tractor-trailer overturns at Basalt project |

Tractor-trailer overturns at Basalt project

Staff report
A tractor-trailer hauling boulders to the whitewater park project in Basalt overturned Tuesday. There were no injuries or environmental damage, according to Pitkin County, which is undertaking the work.
Pitkin County/courtesy photo |

A big rig overturned Tuesday afternoon while hauling boulders into Pitkin County’s whitewater park in the Roaring Fork River in Basalt.

Pitkin County government said no one was injured. Less than five gallons of diesel fuel and an “insignificant amount of hydraulic fluid” spilled at the staging area for the project but didn’t create environmental impacts, the county said.

The hydraulic fluid was dripping from the overturned truck and caught in buckets. Workers for the contractor, Diggin’ It River Works Inc., used absorbent pads to soak up the fuel. The management plan for the project required the contractor to have the pads on site.

The staging area for the project is at 129 Emma Road, just east of Harry Teague Architects. The site is between Highway 82 and the Roaring Fork River.

The accident occurred on a temporary road used to access the construction site on the river, said county spokeswoman Pat Bingham. The trailer being pulled by the rig was loaded with boulders. The tractor and trailer toppled to their left shortly after 4 p.m. Heavy machinery was used to pull the tractor-trailer upright about an hour after the accident.

“Pitkin County Environmental Health Manager Kurt Dahl assessed the accident and said he was confident that the spill was contained,” the county said in a statement.

The project is being undertaken by Pitkin County Healthy Rivers. Two “wave features” will be installed on a short stretch of the river across Two Rivers Road from the entrance to Elk Run. A rock dam was constructed in the main channel of the river and water was diverted into a diversion channel to the south. Officials expect the project to be completed by the spring. It is expected to be a draw in thesummer for kayakers, paddleboarders and tubers.