4:49pm

Wed July 18, 2012
History

Leadville Sinkhole Reveals Town’s Mining Heritage

The town of Leadville has a growing problem. A 100-foot deep sinkhole has shut down traffic between the city and the Vail valley where many residents commute to work every day. But this is more than your average sinkhole.

Going down 100ft, this hole connects to an old railroad tunnel built back in 1880.
Credit CDOT Facebook Page

As Aspen Public Radio’s Luke Runyon reports, it’s giving a unique glimpse into Leadville mining boom from a century ago.

Update 7/19/2012:

Repairs have already started on the 'sinkhole' and are expected to be finished the week of August 6th. The repairs should be completed in a timely matter that won't interfere with the upcoming USA Pro Cycling race.

How are they going to repair the sinkhole that's really just a hole that opens up into an old railroad tunnel? From the CDOT website:

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.

Repairs are estimated to cost $1.5 million.

KUNC Digital Media Manager Jim Hill contributed to the web version of this report.

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