Rockslide blocks westbound lane of U.S. 40 near Milner | SteamboatToday.com

Rockslide blocks westbound lane of U.S. 40 near Milner

A significant rockslide blocked the westbound lane of U.S. Highway 40 about one mile west of Milner Thursday.

— Both lanes of U.S. Highway 40 were reopened Thursday after a significant rockslide.

The slide was reported shortly after 11 a.m. about a mile west of Milner.

Boulders the size of cars had crashed through a cement barrier between the road and hillside.

No one was injured, and no vehicles were damaged.

Police directed traffic through the eastbound lane, and a loader was brought in to move the rocks.

A Colorado Department of Transportation worker at the site thought explosives might have to be used to blast apart the largest rocks. Both lanes were reopened by 4:30 p.m.

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CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford said recent rain likely caused the slide.

After a slide, CDOT's geohazard team is brought in to inspect the area and determine if it is safe.

They then assess if additional work needed to be done to prevent future slides.

The results of that inspection were not available Thursday, and it was unclear whether work will be done to take down any unstable rock.

Ford said Thursday's slide was significant, and there have been a handful of other slides this spring in Colorado.

That is not an unusual number, Ford said.

"Spring period is the time when these things happen," Ford said.

U.S. 40 between Milner and Hayden has experienced numerous slides before.

In 2012, CDOT spent $1 million to install fencing on the cliffs in Mount Harris Canyon further west of Thursday's slide to keep rocks from falling on U.S. 40.

In the two years leading up to the fence installation, rockslides on that stretch of highway killed one person and caused multiple accidents.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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