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'Perfect storm of events' caused sinkholes in Brighton neighborhood, city says

Brighton sinkholes
Posted at 4:12 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 12:01:11-04

UPDATE — The roads at 7th Avenue and Peak Street have reopened after construction was completed on March 19.

BRIGHTON, Colo. — Crews are working to make repairs after several sinkholes formed Monday afternoon in Brighton.

The sinkholes are around N. 7th Avenue and Longs Peak Street. The city has a four-block area closed off.

"It's driving me crazy," said nearby homeowner Judy Vigil. "They spent all summer here, right in front of my house, up the way, and now they're back at doing the same thing."

The summer project she was referring to aimed to make storm drain improvements, according to the city. But old infrastructure sometimes fails, as it did in this case.

"This really is an unforeseen event," said Linda Ong, senior communication specialist with the City of Brighton.

A water main break last week flooded the street during freezing temperatures, causing a ripple effect of problems.

"It's kind of a perfect storm of events," Ong said. "The freezing temperatures basically froze the water in the impacted area and basically stabilized all the impacted area in that frozen state."

Now thawed because of warmer temperatures this week, the soil compacted and created a void beneath the asphalt, forming the sinkholes.

"Crews are just working as quickly as they can to get this repaired," Ong said.

Weather permitting, crews hope to have the sinkholes repaired and the streets back open by the end of the week. There is some winter weather in the forecast this weekend, though, which could interfere with their work.