Local News

Colorado Springs is cleaning culverts

Colorado Springs culvert cleaning

Colorado Springs, CO July 8th, 2013 - Last week's floods in Manitou Springs were a wake up call not only for people who live there but also for those who live downstream.

People like Jane Paul.

She's lived in a house only a few feet away from a culvert for more than 40 years.  After the floods in Manitou Springs she decided to place sandbags in front of her house.

While her house has never flooded, she isn't taking any chances.

"They've got diagrams out on the internet and they told us that we might be having some water," she said.

The city maintains the culverts and they always check them after a soaking rain.

"After a rainfall we check the hot spots," said Amaro Montemayor from Colorado Springs Public Works.

The culvert off of 31st Street is definitely one of the hot spots.

Montemayor said, "because of the burn area we have to be a little more proactive in this area."

Another potential issue is the age of the culvert.  It's part of the reason that the backhoes didn't remove all of the sediment today.

"If we remove the sediment from the bottom it's going to expose the concrete to any kind of water flow and it will erode what's under the concrete," said Montemayor.

Over the next few months, repairs will be made to the more than 50 year old channel but in the meantime removing any amount of debris makes Jane Paul happy.

"I think it's fantastic," she said.

And while there's no guarantee that it will never flood, keeping the culverts as clean as possible will help to keep the water rises to a minimum.

Montemayor says that he has more than a dozen workers who regularly clean out the culverts, which is a part of the city's public works budget.

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