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Midland tunnels. courtesy of ExRVer

Chaffee County has notified news media that travelers may experience delays along CR 371 outside of Buena Vista on Thursday, April 20, while a geotechnical/tunneling engineering team from Stantec Consulting Services performs testing of the Midland Tunnel structures.

Annual testing is required to assess the structural integrity of the tunnel rock. Access through the tunnel portals will be limited while the tests are being conducted that day from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and travelers are strongly encouraged to use alternative routes during this time.

Delays of 30 minutes or more are possible due to the intermittent closures of the tunnels required for the testing. For everyone’s safety, traffic stops will include all modes of travel, including vehicles, bikes, and pedestrians.

The engineering evaluation should be completed by the end of the day and traffic flow along CR 371 should return to normal on Friday, April 21.

The county is continuing to work with the State of Colorado’s Historical Preservation Office, Bureau of Land Management, and engineering consultants to finalize a long-term plan for structural stabilization and reinforcement of the historic Midland Tunnels.