Flood damage closes part of Gold Camp Road
While one popular unpaved road in the city will reopen in time for Labor Day weekend, another will be closed for at least part of the holiday.
Old Stage Road, which was closed after damage from flash flooding last fall, will reopen only on weekends starting this weekend. However, on Wednesday, the city closed Gold Camp Road near Helen Hunt Falls and North Cheyenne Canon Road.
The road is popular for recreation and provides spectacular views of the mountains and Colorado Springs.
Kurt Schroeder of city park operations said heavy rain Tuesday afternoon and evening, on top of what's already been a wet spring and summer, caused the damage.
"Some of the side of the road fell away and created a very dangerous situation," he said. "We've also had some undermining on the asphalt road that goes up North Cheyenne Canon."
Schroeder said six workers will use heavy equipment in hopes of completing repairs by Saturday.
"Another reason for the flood damage is the drought," he said. "The vegetation hasn't come back yet, and it's supposed to soak up water and hold the crushed granite in place."
On Wednesday evening, signs on both sides of the road kept vehicles off, but many hikers and bikers continued to use the road, lifting their bikes over the metal gate.
"I didn't know it was closed," several people said.
"I walked a mile up the road and didn't see anything dangerous," a man said. "It didn't wash out as badly as it did last time."
A father and son from Michigan road their bikes on the road as it was closing. They reflected on how flooding in the past year had changed what they considered a familiar landscape.
"It's been sketchy to find the places to get across to," said the father, Pete Wendell. "Two years ago, we drove up to this very (place) and now it's probably three miles worth of extra riding to get here."
Some parts of the road were so rough that the Wendells walked their bikes instead of riding them. They're learning to do what many in the area have done for the past year.
"Make the best of it," Pete Wendell said.
North Cheyenne Canon Park and Gold Camp Road will remain closed until repair work makes the road safe.
Workers also cleaned up flood damage near Helen Hunt Falls.
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