Photo Courtesy: Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)

Photo Courtesy: Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)

Officials from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) are preparing to make emergency repairs to the section on Colorado Highway 133 that was significantly damaged by a sinkhole.

The sinkhole reportedly started on April 29 and has forced the department to close the roadway to motorists. CDOT has reported that spring runoff contributed to the conditions that made the sinkhole possible.

"The damage originally began with a small sinkhole and lane closure during the weekend of Saturday, April 29. Major flooding from nearby Bear Creek early the week of May 1 filled a culvert with debris and flooded the roadway, pushing the culvert through the other side of the road and eroded roadway embankment, causing the road to collapse," according to CDOT.

As a result, the highway was closed in both directions between Mile Points 14 and 19, north of Paonia.

According to a recent news release, CDOT has secured a contractor to lead emergency repair operations on the damaged highway.

"A key element in the repairs will be placing a temporary bridge. The temporary bridge will allow CO 133 to reopen to motorists. Permanent repairs to the damaged section of CO 133 are anticipated to begin once the temporary bridge is installed," CDOT said.

CDOT has not yet given a timeframe for when the road is expected to reopen to motorists. Travelers that do not live locally are being asked to avoid the area. Those traveling to Colorado Highway 82 (Roaring Fork Valley) or Interstate 70 should detour around the closure using US Highway 50 and I-70.

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