Breaking News for Hwy 24 Commuters
“Sinkhole” Fixed for Boom Days “Unsinkable” Tribute?
There’s good news for local commuters as well as attendees of Leadville’s upcoming Boom Days Celebration. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is scheduled to open one lane of US 24 to alternating traffic beginning early this week. The exact date of the lane opening depends on work that was anticipated to be completed this past weekend.
The irony of Leadville’s Boom Days celebration paying tribute to the “unsinkable” Molly Brown has not gone unnoticed by the thousands of people expected to attend this weekend’s event August 3 – 5. Fortunately, it’s anticipated that CDOT should be able to get at least one lane of Highway 24 open in th enext day or so. Leadville Today will alert motorists as soon as they can use the highway.
“The project to fill the sinkhole is going extremely well,” said CDOT Program Engineer Joe Elsen. “Hayward Baker, the contractor, is working seven days a week for 18 hours each day to keep the project progressing on schedule, and by opening one lane of the highway to motorists, we will be able to alleviate some of the impact that has been felt by the community for the past few weeks.”
The state’s highway department is urging motorists using US 24 to travel to and from the Boom Days celebration to be on the lookout for cyclists during their travels, as the Copper Traingle bike race will also be passing through the construction zone using a four-foot bicycle lane.
However, commuters and visitors should be advised that delays of up to 10 minutes should be expected when passing through the construction zone, as only one lane of the highway will be open and each direction of traffic must take turns alternating through the work zone. CDOT urges motorists to obey all traffic signs and flaggers, and to drive Slow for the Cone Zone.
To repair the sinkhole and the highway, Hayward Baker constructed a grout containment barrier on the north and south sides of the highway to contain the fill zone. A thinner grout material was then poured into the void and a pressurized grout is now being used to fill any remaining voids, which will compress the existing materials underneath the highway to strengthen the roadway platform. Once the void has been stabilized, crews will grind down the existing road surface and pave a three inch layer of asphalt to create a seamless transition for motorists over the former sinkhole site.