Giant boulder shocks Mountain Road residents in Barriere

When a boulder the size of a small car was spotted on the curbside of Armour Mountain Road in Barriere the morning of Mar. 23, it gave residents of the neighbourhood a few moments to ponder how fortunate they all were that no one had been hurt and no property damaged.

The boulder was the result of a small landslide the night before from the mountain immediately adjacent to the road.

Armour Mountain Road resident June Webb says the evening prior she could hear rocks rolling down the mountain across the road from her house. Curious as to what was happening she went outside to check, but commented that it was too dark to see anything up on the hillside. She presumed the noise was due to the high wind gusts in the area at the time that were perhaps moving small rocks and branches around.

Webb was more than a little surprised when she looked out in the morning and saw a giant boulder sitting on the road in almost the exact spot where the local children wait for the school bus in the mornings.

She reports the District of Barriere was contacted, and quickly responded by sending the municipality’s road contractor, Defiance Contracting.

Area resident, Wally Luison, was also quick to size up the situation and brought his excavator over to assist Defiance in moving the giant boulder back off the roadway. Webb says the crew also moved quite a bit of loose rock around at the base of the mountainside in the hopes it might make a ‘buffer zone’ if another slide came down.

“I have also sent a request via email to the city asking if a geotech survey will be conducted to assess risk of further events due to this being the location of an SD73 school bus stop,” said Webb, ”The crown of this landslide does not look stable to me. At the very least, we need a “Falling Rock” sign on the block.”

District of Barriere CAO Colleen Hannigan told the Star/Journal on Saturday, “A geotechnical engineer has been out to assess the situation and will be providing a report to the District this week. We are asking people to please stay out of this rockfall area in case more loose rock should decide to let go.”

Click here to see a video of moving the boulder off the road:

https://youtu.be/RVcXapPUXgE

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