More rocks unlikely to fall on Highway 82, CDOT says | PostIndependent.com

More rocks unlikely to fall on Highway 82, CDOT says

Will Grandbois
wgrandbois@postindependent.com
A van was struck by a large boulder Nov. 24, severely injuring driver David Pixler.
John Stroud, Post Independent |

Drivers are unlikely to see a repeat of the rockslide that injured two on Highway 82 near Carbondale on Nov. 24, according to Colorado Department of Transportation GeoTech Bob Group, who examined the site.

”The unstable material that may pose a danger to the highway all came down in one event,” said Group. “We don’t anticipate any events of similar magnitude happening in the future.”

Group’s team accessed the hillside from the nearby Mushroom Rock trail system and located the source of the rocks in a basalt outcropping between 700 and 800 feet above highway.

Both the location and type of rocks are unusual for the area, which occasionally experiences minor slides in the red sandstone lower down, few of which reach the road.

In last month’s slide, however, three round boulders, the largest in excess of 8 feet in diameter, rolled all the way to the highway, striking cars and putting two people in the hospital.

David Pixler of Grand Junction was driving a commercial van as the largest of the rocks hit the road, and he couldn’t avoid striking it. He was severely injured but last week was recovering following surgeries in a Denver hospital. A fund for Pixler and his family has been set up at gofundme.com/hsv930.

Although Group assured the public that CDOT works hard to monitor and mitigate rockfall danger zones, Group encouraged drivers to be prepared and use always caution.

“Be aware and keep your eyes on the road,” he said.


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