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The original item was published from 5/2/2023 10:30:00 AM to 5/10/2023 12:00:01 AM.

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Glenwood Springs News / Noticias de Glenwood Springs

Posted on: May 2, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Glenwood Springs responds to Red Mountain debris flow

Access to wastewater treatment facility blocked

Photos from May 2 debris flow.

Early Tuesday morning, another major debris flow came down Red Mountain in Glenwood Springs, blocking access to the wastewater treatment facility in West Glenwood. The flow has also crossed over a portion of the train tracks. There are no injuries or unaccounted for individuals. There is no estimate for reopening the affected portion of the access road or the train tracks.

“A long and heavy snowpack winter paired with a quick rise in temperatures is making for an abnormal runoff season,” shared City Manager Beverli Marshall. “We are coordinating with the Union Pacific Railroad and Xcel Energy on cleanup operations, and we continue to work with geotechnical experts on identifying vulnerabilities and planning for additions to resilient infrastructure. In the meantime, additional slides are possible.”

Staff contacted local contractors to assist with clean up efforts to reopen access to the wastewater treatment plant as quickly as possible. All the mud that came down with the debris flow will be hauled out to the old rodeo fairgrounds by the airport. Expect to see heavy truck traffic throughout the day on Midland Avenue all week.

An emergency response fund will be established to cover initial costs of cleanup with contributions from the water fund, wastewater fund and capital projects fund. There is not yet an estimate of the total cost for cleanup and response.

Trails Updates

On April 30, the West Midland Trailhead and portions of Wulfsohn Trail North, Defiance Trail, and Stevie Bob Trail were closed due to mud activity. Other sections of trail can still be accessed from the Community Center or the West Glenwood Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) park and ride. 

In South Canyon, Tramway Trail is opened up to the point where it intersects the Lightning Bug Trail. The Upper Trailhead and upper portions of Tramway and Lighting Bug remained closed until further notice due to unstable soil conditions. Trail users can access the Tramway Trail at either the lower trailhead, close to the Archery Range, or at the midpoint near the landfill entrance.

Trail users are also advised to avoid the Jeanne Golay Trail (Red Mountain Trail) and Grandstaff Trail. There are no estimated times for reopening. Trail statuses will be updated at GlenwoodRec.com/320.

Wet trails are fragile. Do not try to avoid mud by going to the side of a trail. Doing so damages plants that keep trails in place and can cause trail damage. Hiking or riding on muddy trails causes damage to trails through erosion, especially if you are leaving deep footprints or tire tracks. You can help share this message with the hashtag #RideDirtNotMud.

Additionally, during spring runoff, if you encounter a stream of water crossing a trail the safest option is to turn around rather than risk crossing. During peak runoff, mountain snowmelt can quickly turn gentle streams into uncrossable paths.

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