US 24 Closed Indefinitely North of Leadville to All Traffic

July 10, 2012 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has completely closed US 24 in both directions to all traffic, including local, north of Leadville at mile marker 165 south of Red Cliff.

At this time, CDOT engineers have determined that it would be unsafe to keep the highway open, so all motorists will be detoured to State Highway 91. Crews had marked and barricaded the sinkhole from the highway, but after continued evaluation of the area, were concerned that the sinkhole could expand and did not want to risk lives to keep the highway open. At this time, there is no estimated date of reopening, and the detour will be in place 24/7.

After thorough examinations of the sinkhole yesterday involving a variety of engineers, maintenance supervisors, and geological experts, it was determined that the sinkhole is actually a century-old railroad tunnel that collapsed decades ago. The depth of the hole is currently estimated to be about 100 feet, and since the depths reach so far into the earth, much of the soil was still frozen until very recently. When the soil thawed, the hole was exposed.