Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Several large rocks broke loose Tuesday 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.
Boulder Threat Prompts Closure of Warm Springs Avenue and Starview Drive around Warm Springs Mes
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.
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.