Crews work to clear rockslide from US 24 near Minturn

A rockslide has closed U.S. 24 between Leadville and Minturn on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (Credit: Eagle River Fire)

A rockslide has closed U.S. 24 between Leadville and Minturn on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (Credit: Eagle River Fire)

MINTURN, Colo. — More than 150 tons of huge rocks slid down the mountainside up U.S. Highway 24 heading to Leadville, trapping at least one car in the rubble, about 2:30 Tuesday morning. While no one was hurt, the highway was seriously damaged.

It was closed all day Tuesday while crews worked to clear the slide. It reopened to traffic Tuesday night, but more work was going to take place Wednesday.

“We have blasting crews out here breaking up the big boulders into smaller rocks which are easier to handle,” said CDOT’s Tracy Truelove. “The blasting will continue probably through Wednesday as climbers attack the slide area from above.”

Master blaster, Jack Stieber says, “This is a big job but there have and will be even bigger ones as the freeze and thaw cycles continue this spring.”

Crews drilled holes into the rock, placed a charge in them, and used blasting caps to cause explosions which shattered the big rocks making little rocks and pebbles which they were then able to move off the road.