Boulders Prompt Closure of Warm Springs
Road Will Remain Closed Until the Hillside Stabilizes

Update: April 5, 2017

The ACHD Commission on Wednesday approved the plan to reopen Warm Springs Avenue, which calls for a contractor to pull down the remaining loose boulders and remove all of the previous debris caught behind the existing barriers. Commissioners also heard about longer-term projects to stablize the hillside but those options will not be considered until more research has been completed to evaluate the effectiveness and potential costs. Work is expected to be completed by the end of next week.

Watch the Commission Meeting item

The Mesa's face has generally stablized since late February, after falling rocks forced the closure of the road in early January.

Update: March 31, 2017

Now that the Mesa's face has remained stable, the ACHD Commission on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, will consider a recommendation for interim steps to improve safety and reopen the road. The plan calls for the removal of loose rock still on the slope as well as previously fallen stones behind the safety railing. No new boulders have fallen since Maintenance crews cleared the asphalt on February 22nd.

If the Commission approves moving ahead, a contractor will be hired to clear the loose material, which will allow for the reopening of the road upon completion, provided the slope stays stable. The Commission meeting starts at noon on Wednesday.

Update: January 30, 2017

ACHD crews will remove fallen rocks on Starview Drive starting today. The road will be monitored and if it remains suffiiently boulder-free in coming days may be considered for at least partial reoBoulders on 01.27.17pening. Warm Springs Avenue, however, continues to shed numerous stones and cannot be considered for reopening at this time, ACHD's Engineering and Maintenance departments concluded on Friday.

A geotechnical firm has been hired to study the situation and provide options for interim steps and a long-term solution to the long-standing problem. A report is expected by mid-March.

Background
Numerous large rocks broke loose the week of January 9, 2017 from the Warm Springs Mesa, forcing the closure of portions of Warm Springs Avenue and East Starview Drive until the slopes stabilize and the rock fall risk diminished. Rocks continue to fall, as can been seen in the last picture on this page, taken Wednesday, January 18th.
Warm_Springs-boulders
Warm Springs Avenue is closed from Starcrest Drive to East Parsnip Peak Drive, and Starview is closed from Warm Springs to South Mill Point Lane. Residents of the Mesa will still be able to use Starcrest Drive and Windsong Drive to access the area.

Those needing to travel downtown from east of the Mesa will have to use Parkcenter Boulevard until further notice.

The rocks are likely falling because of the recent rain and thaw, which has destabilized the fragile slope where rocks often move in the spring. The winter’s weather pattern – snow, followed by weeks of subfreezing cold, followed by rain and higher temperatures – is believed to have touched off a fresh round of erosion.Rocks from 011817

In January of 2015, Warm Springs Avenue was closed for two weeks between Starview and Starcrest after a 50-ton boulder fell onto Warm Springs Avenue. After a contractor removed a number of teetering rocks, ACHD crews placed more than 1,200 feet of concrete guard rail along two areas at the foot of the Mesa to block stones from getting to the road.

Some individuals in recent days have removed barriers to access the rock slide areas of the closed roads. ACHD asks people to obey the closures to ensure their own safety, as well as the safety of emergency responders.