Colorado safety agency closing 25 abandoned mines in Silverton area | AspenTimes.com

Colorado safety agency closing 25 abandoned mines in Silverton area

DURANGO (AP) — Agencies are in the process of closing 25 abandoned mines on the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway between Silverton and Lake City by fall to prevent any accidents or fatalities.

Tara Tafi with the Department of Reclamation, Mining and Safety says the 65-mile (105-kilometer) scenic route is becoming more and more popular each year prompting officials to take steps to ensure that visitors wandering into the backcountry stay safe.

Tafi says agencies have been working to close an estimated 900 abandoned mines over the past 30 years in and around the Alpine Loop area.

The Durango Herald reported Saturday that a 1977 survey estimates that there were about 24,000 abandoned mines in Colorado.

Five people have died in abandoned mine accidents in the state from 2001 to 2017.