Routt County crews quickly clean up large mudslide north of Steamboat |

Routt County crews quickly clean up large mudslide north of Steamboat

A mudslide stretches across Routt County Road 129 south of Clark on Monday night, May 1, 2023.
Jim Standish/Courtesy photo

A mudslide covered both lanes of Routt County Road 129 around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, May 1. The slide, which was around 25 feet wide and more than 3 feet deep in places, happened around mile marker 16, just south of Clark, according to Routt County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ryan Adrian.

Routt County Road and Bridge and the sheriff’s office responded to the slide that carried trees, rocks and other debris onto the road. Crews had the mess cleared shortly after 2 a.m. Tuesday, May 2. Routt County Public Works Director Mike Mordi said the road was open around 6 a.m.

Mordi said his staff won’t be able to take any further measures at the slide location, or similar terrain, until the surrounding area dries out a bit more.

“It was kind of a weird situation because there was so much vegetation on the slope, and vegetation is really what holds the slope in place,” Mordi said. “We have those big aspens and scrub oak and sage brush all up there, all of those are great plants that really root the top soil in there. It was just a combination of a steeper slope and a considerable amount of water from the rapid melting that’s taken place. … That’s really what creates a landslide and mudslide, is water.”

After addressing the slide north of town, Mordi and his crew went to Routt County Road 45 to investigate a culvert that got washed out. The road is washed out, but no one is prevented from reaching town. The road won’t be able to be repaired until the creek slows down, Mordi said.

“I can’t commend (enough) the group we have on Road and Bridge, from the Steamboat shop to the Oak Creek shop to the Hayden shop,” Mordi said. “All the guys are out early, early, early in the morning checking roads, making sure they’re passable and no water is flowing over the roads. I can’t commend the crews out there enough, working night and day to make sure roads remain passable this spring.”

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