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Construction crew in hardhats work on railroad tracks.  Dog stands nearby.
Photo from the Golden Transcript – April 7, 1971

53 Years Ago
The April 7, 1971 Golden Transcript described some trouble we were having with roadways. North Table Mountain was slipping downwards, towards Clear Creek. Highway 58 was still under construction at that time, and the new highway and 44th Avenue were both buckling under pressure from the shifting soil.

There are railroad tracks in that area, and the railroad was having trouble too. “You should have been here this morning,” said the foreman of the railroad crew. “The tracks looked like a roller coaster. The gravel had dropped ten inches here since yesterday.”

Google Map of the area with Hwy 58, Church Ditch, 10th St. the railroad tracks, highline ditch, and Clear Creek labeled.
North Table Mountain was sliding slowly and inexorably towards Clear Creek, pushing the highway, street, and railroad out of alignment.

The State (Hwy 58), the County (44th Avenue), and the railroad each agreed to pay up to $45K to install a new drainage system that would run under all three roadways.

This was not a new problem. The August 2, 1906 Transcript featured an article that opens thus:

Big Force of Men Employed to Keep the Railroad From Sliding into Clear Creek.
The famous slide of North Table Mountain, which for years has caused Jefferson county and the Colorado & Southern railroad a great amount of trouble, is now assuming proportions of a most serious nature.

The article went on to say that the railroad tracks had recently been pushed so close to the creek that it was too dangerous to take trains over them.

They consulted renowned railroad engineer Edward Berthoud, who said the situation was “peculiar and appalling.”

Many thanks to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts, and to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!