Mudslides close Highway 133 near Redstone, westbound lanes of Highway 82 near Carbondale |

Mudslides close Highway 133 near Redstone, westbound lanes of Highway 82 near Carbondale

Photo Courtesy Jim Paussa www.paussa.comA mudslide up to 5 feet thick closed the westbound lanes of Highway 82 about a mile from the junction with Highway 133 Thursday afternoon.

Highway 133 was closed by multiple mudslides between Penny Hot Springs and Redstone, and Highway 82 was closed by a mudslide just downvalley from Carbondale when a storm rolled through Thursday afternoon.

Highway 133 remained closed as of press time because so much debris remained on the road.

“This is a major washout of a number of areas,” said Pitkin County Deputy Sheriff Jeff Lumsden.

A crew from the Colorado Department of Transportation had cleared some minor mudslides from Highway 133 from mid-afternoon showers when torrential rain hit the area at around 5 p.m., Lumsden said.

“It came down. The worst was right before I arrived at 5:10,” he said. “It was pounding down so hard I couldn’t hear my car’s police radio.”

It was impossible to determine how many slides there were because of their size and frequency, he said. One slide buried about 100 yards of the highway in mud and debris four to six feet deep, with boulders reported to be the size of cars, Lumsden said. A different section of the road was covered by six to eight feet of mud and rock.

Lumsden said he was unaware of any motorists getting stuck in the mudslides. Commuters from Redstone and points beyond weren’t able to return home.

Authorities said the Redstone Campground off the north entrance to Redstone was also affected by a mudslide. Redstone Boulevard was closed last evening.

Crews from the CDOT and Pitkin County were using front end loaders to move the debris, but the estimate was it would take all night to get the massive job done.

While Highway 133 is prone to closures from mudslides, it’s not nearly as common on Highway 82. The heavy rain sent mud oozing down west of the Mushroom Rock area, about 1 mile west of the intersection with Highway 133. Both westbound or downvalley lanes of Highway 82 were closed and one upvalley lane was affected, said CDOT spokeswoman Stacey Stegman. Highway 82’s westbound lanes were covered in up to five feet of mud, she said. The closure occurred at about 5:30 p.m. Two vehicles were caught in the mud, including one four-wheel-drive that apparently tried to drive through the goop, she said.

Linda Harlan of Aspen was a passenger in a car that drove past the Highway 82 mudslide Thursday afternoon. She said a BMW was “crunched” against the guardrail in the downvalley lanes in the slide area.

The vehicles were cleared by 7:30 p.m. but Stegman said crews were still removing mud and there was no estimate when the lanes would be open.

A mudslide also affected Interstate 70 near Dotsero and, in Pitkin County, Snowmass Creek Road at mile marker 10.

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