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The historic Midland Tunnels on County Road 371 north of Buena Vista will be structurally reinforced through a project slated to begin on April 11, 2o22. This will require the temporary closure of a short section of CR371 until around May 27, just prior to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Midland tunnels. Photo courtesy of Ex-RVer.

The tunnel rehabilitation requires full road closure of approximately one-half mile of CR371 through the work zone at each end of the tunnel portals, running from the intersection with CR375 on the south and turn-off to Bob’s Rock climbing area parking on the north.

The Chaffee County Road and Bridge Department is working with the geotechnical/tunneling engineering team from Stantec Consulting Services and contractors from Harrison Western Construction to perform engineered stabilization and rehabilitation of the four Midland tunnels.

The project will involve the installation of support anchor bolts and consolidated concrete to reinforce the tunnels’ ceilings and walls. Stabilization work is intended to secure and preserve the historic tunnel structure for the coming decades.

During the closure, no traffic of any sort, including bicycles and pedestrians, will be permitted to pass through the tunnels. The closure will be 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week. This is due both to the need for public safety and so that equipment can remain in place for the duration of the project.

It is not expected that the CR371 closure will have any negative impact on access to Four Mile Recreation Area or trailheads from the south. Nor will it impact access to Bob’s Rock or Elephant Rock from the north. However, travelers along CR371 will need to access these areas from either side of the closed tunnel portals, not through the tunnels.