CDOT says new culvert could stop Highway 24 washouts

POSTED: 08:54 PM MDT Aug 18, 2013    UPDATED: 06:37 PM MDT Aug 19, 2013 
MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. -

Colorado's Department of Transportation has gotten money to construct a concrete culvert in hopes of stopping the washouts on Highway 24 near Manitou Springs when it rains on the Waldo Canyon burn scar.

"One of things that we're trying to do is size a culvert that will convey water underneath the highway and out to Fountain Creek rather than have it overwhelm the existing 72-inch culvert that's in place, where the waters been going down the westbound lanes of 24," said Dave Watt, a CDOT engineer.

That culvert will be 10 times the size of the existing one, and Watt said it could prevent washouts in the future.

"This will go a long way towards solving that problem," he said. "There's no guarantees with something like this, but this will take a lot of the chance away."

The department will solicit bids for the work soon, but an estimate of the project's cost isn't available yet. Watt said construction will begin in October and potentially finish by the end of the year.
    
On July 10 and Aug. 9, flash floods swept numerous cars off the road, which is near a massive burn scar left by last year's Waldo Canyon Fire. Areas burned by wildfires are vulnerable to flash floods because the scorched soil absorbs less water.
    
John Collins, of Divide, died in the August flood.