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LEADVILLE, Colo. (AP) – U.S. 24 is closed north of Leadville because a sinkhole 100 feet deep and 20 feet across opened beside the road, apparently caused by the collapse of an abandoned railroad tunnel far below.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said Tuesday the highway is closed indefinitely in both directions. Traffic between Leadville and Red Cliff, 25 miles to the north, must take a detour about 60 miles long.

CDOT spokeswoman Ashley Mohr says the railroad tunnel collapsed decades ago but much of the soil above it remained frozen until recently.

She says CDOT engineers, geology experts and maintenance crews have gone to the scene.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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