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Sep 15, 2009 8:20 AM by Stefanie Boe, Jeannette Hynes and John Romero

Rockslides at the mine scar

Last December the Pike View Quarry had a major rockslide that shut down operations at the enormous mine. Sunday evening, another rockslide created havoc on the mountain. "Apparently with all of the rain we've had, mother nature isn't done yet." says Mac Shafer with Transit Mix Aggregates.

The heavy rain and decomposed granite are compounding on the cliff making it a perfect storm for rock slides. "That's the problem." explains George Bolling, a geologist who also works with the Colorado Mountain Reclamation Foundation, "The cliff face itself is so steep. Gravity works on it over time and eventually it looses and falls."

When the original slide happened last December, Transit Mix had to shut down its main operations at the quarry. Since work on the mine has been dormant for nearly a year now, Transit Mix is hurting. "It hasn't put us out of business but it absolutely has affected us." says Shafer. Transit Mix President Jerald Schnabel tells us over the last year his company has lost about a million dollars with no revenues coming in from the mine.

The Colorado Mountain Reclamation Foundation can't do their part with the company either, as the 2 sides work together to reclaim the land after mining is through. "What we're doing is going behind the mine and advising them and helping them with the cleanup of the area itself." says Bolling. Both sides cross their fingers that time will once again come soon. Until then, Transit Mix won't take any safety chances. "What we saw last night is exactly why we're not in a hurry to get back there, really at any cost." says Shafer.

 

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