The Colorado Department of Transportation will open one lane of US 24 to alternating traffic beginning early next week. The exact date of the lane opening depends on the work that is completed this coming weekend, and CDOT officials said in a news release they will be sure to alert motorists as soon as they can use the highway next week.
"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/"
CDOT said both lanes of US 24 will not be fully opened until repairs are complete the week of Monday, August 6 as repairs are continuing at this time. At this time, the repairs are scheduled to be completed before the USA Pro Challenge plans to go through the area, barring any changes based on weather, natural disasters, and other unforeseen circumstances.
The Copper Triangle bicycle race will be able to use US 24 and Tennessee Pass the weekend of Saturday, August 4. Thanks to the hard work of crews, the cyclists will be able to pass through the construction zone using a four-foot bicycle lane. Motorists will be able to simultaneously pass through the work zone during the race. That same weekend, Leadville will have its annual Boom Days celebration from August 3 through 5, and motorists using US 24 to travel to and from the celebration will be urged to be on the lookout for cyclists during the race.
Once one lane of the highway is open, motorists will no longer required to use State Highway 91 as a detour route. However, motorists are 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.
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 3- inch layer of asphalt to create a seamless transition for motorists over the former sinkhole site.