Portions of Warm Springs Avenue and East Starview Drive will be closed until the slopes stabilize and the rock fall risk is diminished, the Ada County Highway District announced Tuesday.
Several large rocks broke loose from the Warm Springs Mesa on Tuesday, likely because of the recent rain and thaw.
“Mother Nature has the biggest role here to play,” said Craig Quintana, the ACHD’s chief information officer. “Until things kind of warm up and dry out, our options are fairly limited — other than closing the road and minimizing the potential danger — to remediate the situation right now.”
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.
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Those needing to travel downtown from east of the Mesa will have to use Parkcenter Boulevard until further notice.
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.
While a similar barrier could work for the new area of erosion, nothing can be done immediately, Quintana said.
“At this point it is so unstable, we wouldn’t want to risk putting any more stress on an already fragile slope,” he said.