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Austin Bluffs causes problems for drivers

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Feb 20 2013 11:57:27 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 21 2013 03:31:46 AM CST

Closure causes traffic congestion and stuck vehicles.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

The steep hill on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs remains closed because of snowy conditions.

Police closed the hill around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday as heavy snow made driving slick and vehicles had difficulty getting up the hill.  That created another problem on the smaller hill to the west on Garden of the Gods Road as traffic began backing up and more vehicles were stuck and sliding off the road.

Police said they are waiting on city sand trucks to apply anti-skid material to the hill.  However, because the storm has kept street crews extremely busy, police said they didn't know when the hill would reopen.

Farther to the east, police reported as many as 100 vehicles became stuck on Austin Bluffs near the intersection of Old Farm Road.  Police ask that you avoid the area until further notice.

There was no indication of when that area would be cleared for traffic.  Police said they were trying to help drivers turn around.

Police issued the following release Wednesday night:

Update at 2115hrs, Austin Bluffs and Old Farm/Barnes area - as many as 70-100 cars are stuck in the roadway due to icy conditions. CSPD Officers are on scene trying to assist motorists, having them turn around in the roadway. Please avoid this area!

As of 2000hrs on 2/20/13, road conditions citywide have rapidly deteriorated. CSPD is urging citizens to swiftly get to shelter and stay off of the roads. Snow is falling so rapidly that the snowplows are unable to keep up even though they are on full call out. Some of the more serious areas being identified at this time are:

- Woodmen and Union - Impassible without 4WD
- Oro Blanco/N Carefree - slick conditions/accident location
- Fountain/Alvarado - slick conditions, disabled semi trailer
- Rio Grande/8th Street and Moreno Street west from 8th street - icy, barely passable
- Pikes Peak/Murray area - icy, traffic accident car versus house
- Union/Vickers - 6 car traffic accident, police cruisers on scene are unable to move due to ice

These locations are just some of the problem areas at this time.

If you are in an accident in these conditions and are in your vehicle, keep your seatbelt on in case you are struck by another vehicle. If out of the car, move a safe distance away from the road until help arrives. Currently, CSPD is working accidents in all 4 divisions and resources are being stretched.

Please stay off the roadways - current weather reports that heavy snow should continue through at least midnight within the city limits.

Problem locations have been reported to streets, but conditions are not expected to improve until the snow ceases and plow crews can catch up.

Stay with KRDO NewsChannel 13 and KRDO.com for updates.

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