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

Update:  March 21, 2017

The Adoption of the Warm Springs Avenue Interim Safety Treatment Plan, which was scheduled to go before the ACHD Commission tomorrow evening (Wednesday, March 22), has been temporarily postponed. We are still working very closely with the geotechnical firm we have hired to determine a satisfactory interim treatment until a more permanent solution can be found. We will keep you informed as to when this item will go before the ACHD Commission.

Update: March 17, 2017

Now that the Mesa's face seems to have stabilized, the ACHD Commission on Wednesday, March 22, 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. ACHD expects to hear soon from an engineering firm about any longer-term measures to be considered to improve safety. The Commission meeting starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Update: February 22, 2017

ACHD crews this afternoon will remove rocks from Warm Springs Avenue between Starview Drive and Starcrest Drive, a necessary step toward the possible reopening of the road. Clearing the fallen rocks will allow us to monitor the area for any fresh boulders. If the hill appears stable in coming days, the ACHD Commission may be asked to reopen Warm Springs.

Update: February 9, 2017

Starview Drive was reopened today at noon.

Update:  February 8, 2017

Today, the ACHD Commission voted to approve an interim safety treatment so that Starview Drive can be reopened to the travelling public. Crews will begin to install 100 feet of new concrete guardrail on the west side of Starview Drive. Additional temporary signage and lane markers will be installed to alert motorists to the new lane modifications. It is anticipated that Starview Drive will be reopened by the close of business tomorrow (Thursday, February 9).

Warm Springs Avenue will remain closed due to recent fallen rocks; however, the closure has been pushed back to exist between Starview Drive and Starcrest Drive.  

Starview Drive and Warm Springs Avenue have both been under heavy monitoring since rocks first began falling earlier this winter after a freeze/thaw/rain cycle prompted more erosion of the hillside.

Motorists should be aware that the area on Starview Drive is still part of an active landslide, and should be watchful and use caution when navigating this roadway. ACHD staff will continue to diligently monitor both of these roadways. It is anticipated that, with the assistance of a local geotechnical firm, ACHD staff will have more future long-term solutions to present to the Commission by the end of March 2017.

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.