US 24 Tennessee Pass Sinkhole Repairs to Begin Tomorrow

July 17, 2012 - CONSTRUCTION PROJECT UPDATE- Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Repairs expected to finish in early August.

EAGLE/LAKE COUNTIES — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will begin repairs on the sinkhole on US 24 tomorrow, July 18, and will finish the week of Monday, August 6. The highway will remain closed in both directions to all traffic, including bicyclists, from mile marker (MM) 162 to MM 166.

“We’re doing everything we can to get the highway reopened as soon as possible,” said CDOT Program Engineer Joe Elsen. “The contractor is already mobilizing equipment today and will be provided incentives to finish the project ahead of schedule.”

Hayward Baker, Inc. was the winning bidder with a contract amount of $829,748.65. Because CDOT is committed to getting the highway repaired and back open to traffic quickly, there were incentives added to the contract. If the contractor is able to open one lane or both lanes of the highway by August 6, the contractor will receive an additional $5,000 per day for early opening. Conversely, they will be assessed a disincentive of $5,000 each day they highway remains closed past August 6. The total cost of repairs, including traffic control, design, etc. is estimated to be $1.5 million. CDOT began the expedited emergency bidding process for highway repairs after a sinkhole opened up on US 24 over Tennessee Pass on Monday, July 9. After receiving bids for the repairs project, CDOT selected the final contractor based on the lowest bid amount and the amount of time estimated to complete the project.

Repairs are estimated to last one month, with the highway expected to reopen the week of Monday, August 6. At this time, the repairs are scheduled to be completed ahead of when the USA Pro Challenge plans to go through the area, barring any changes based on weather, natural disasters, and other unforeseen circumstances.

To repair the sinkhole and the highway, crews will be constructing a grout containment barrier on the north and south sides of the highway to contain the fill zone. Then, a thinner grout material will be poured into the void followed by a pressurized grout to fill any remaining voids, which will also compress the existing materials underneath the highway to strengthen the roadway platform. Once the void has been stabilized, crews will mill and pave a three inch layer of asphalt to create a seamless transition for motorists over the former sinkhole site.

All motorists, including those who live locally, must continue to use State Highway 91 as a detour throughout repairs. Access to local businesses and roadways remains possible, and travelers hoping to visit Camp Hale, which is just south of Red Cliff, will be able to do so.

CDOT continues to work with state historians and is referencing its archives to build a full history of the tunnel and roadway.

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