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Sections of Old Stage Road are unrecognizable, impassable after storm

Sections of Old Stage Road are unrecognizable, impassable af

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Sections of Old Stage Road remained unrecognizable and impassable Thursday as El Paso County workers continued to stitch the road back together.

El Paso County engineer André Brackin said Old Stage Road was the worst hit road in the county during last week's storms. Brackin said it will take at least one month to re-open to the road to thru traffic. He estimated the price tag for the repairs will be $800,000.

"It's steep grades and there is a lot of runoff.  You combine the two and with a big storm, this is what you're going to get," said Brackin.

There are chunks of pavement gone and problems scattered along the paved section of the road leading into the mountains. The most extensive damage starts 3 miles after the road turns to gravel. 

Heavy rain coupled with creeks and mountainous terrain inflicted a lot of damage along the stretch of road. Water washed out large sections of the road every quarter mile. The section of road remaining in those places was too thin for a car to pass through.

"The goal right now is just to get a single lane open so the people who are up here can have access but it will stay closed and it will stay closed until we repair these culvert locations," said Brackin.

Repairs to the road will come in two parts. First, the county will repair the road enough so residents can have access to their properties. Next, the county will recut sections along the road and install larger culverts.

"We will put bigger culverts in to handle more runoff so the road will be able to survive or withstand greater storms than it has up to this point," said Brackin.

Jeff Karshner is the caretaker for the Stables at the Broadmoor. His friends at a neighboring ranch measured 19 inches of rain in the area during last week's storms.

"Friday, when I'm getting up in the morning to feed horses, the horses are gone, buffalo is gone, there is fish on our road," said Karshner describing the conditions at the stables after Thursday night's rain. "When I saw fish on the road I knew the pond had gone, the dam had broke"

He's had to hike and use horses to get food and fuel to the stables. Karnsher said he couldn't be happier to see the county piecing the road back together. 

"The county has just been awesome," said Karshner. "All these guys are going on the Christmas card list this year."

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