Local News

Falling rock risk factors into Highway 24 closure

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Highway 24 was closed for about two hours through Ute Pass, west of Manitou Springs Wednesday morning.

The highway was initially shut down after a quarter inch of rain fell in the Waldo Canyon burn scar. That prompted a flash flood warning by the National Weather Service.

Concern over falling rocks also kept the highway closed, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

State troopers said no boulders were removed from the highway and no damage was reported due to falling rocks.

Some drivers would like to see the state dedicate funds to prevent road closures like the one Wednesday.

"I think they need to put a whole bunch of money into flash flooding [prevention,]" said Rick Moss, who had to cancel plans to visit Woodland Park.

Others said they don't mind the emphasis on safety and caution.

"It's not going to change my plans," said Pat Thelander, who still made a trip to Manitou Springs despite the Highway 24 closure.

According to a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Transportation, rain can loosen the boulders above the highway, elevating the risk of falling rocks.

Electronic signs along the highway Thursday evening warned drivers of the danger.

The area remains under flash flood watch until 9 p.m.

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