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Ute Pass flood control projects nearing completion

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Aug 07 2013 09:26:35 PM CDT

One is finished, three should be completed in a week or two.

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -

The Colorado Department of Transportation said on Wednesday that four flood control projects between Manitou Springs and Green Mountain Falls should be finished within the next few weeks.

Dave Watt, a CDOT engineer, reported on the progress of those projects.  They're designed to reduce the risk of and damage from flash flooding from the Waldo Canyon burn scar.

A project to protect Ute Pass Elementary School and several nearby homes is almost finished.  Barricades have been placed around the school and homes to divert floodwaters.  The area was damaged by a severe flood last July.

A project along U.S. 24 across from the Eagle's Nest Wellness Center, designed to catch debris and divert runoff, is about a week from completion.  Workers are installing boulders to slow the flow of water from a flood and allow it to drain slowly and safely.  The highway in that area was closed several times last summer because of flood debris.

CDOT is also repairing flood damage at the Rainbow Falls recreation area.  Another week or two of erosion control work remains there.

One project that's complete is the entrance to Waldo Canyon.  Workers have cleared a clogged culvert and removed debris.  CDOT said the clogged culvert contributed to last month's flash flood that swept away several vehicles on U.S. 24.

Neighbors said they're eager to see if the projects will work during a heavy rainstorm.

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