EL PASO COUNTY - Drivers in southern Colorado can now get new alerts about closures and other impacts on Ute Pass.
Since the Waldo Canyon Fire and the resulting flooding, Highway 24 has shut down several times, leading to huge delays for drivers.
CDOT has closed the highway in the Ute Pass area nine times since May 2014. The highway was closed 17 times in 2013, including for three flood events. The worst flooding happened on Aug. 9, when mud and debris covered the highway, and one person was killed.
Now, the Colorado Department of Transportation is offering several new methods to keep the public informed.
CDOT will continue to use electronic sign boards for notifications, but it also now will offer email and text alerts to notify drivers and the community about road conditions, closures and/or openings, crashes, and other impacts to Highway 24.
To subscribe, visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the green cell-phone icon in the upper, right-hand corner. The link goes a list of items drivers can subscribe to, including U.S. 24 Ute Pass.
CDOT also is setting up a webpage that includes Frequently Asked Questions about the Ute Pass corridor, construction, photos, and more. It will soon be found at www.coloradodot.info/projects/us24utepass.
CDOT also is encouraging people to follow the agency on Twitter and Facebook. Important information is regularly shared on the site.
Right now, Highway 24 closes whenever the National Weather Service issues a flash flood warning for the Waldo Canyon burn scar area or the rain gauges installed in the area measure at least one-quarter inch of rain. That protocol will remain in place through Sept. 30.
After that, CDOT will meet with local, state and federal agencies to assess the process and determine whether changes should be made to the protocol.