The flooding fears were never so vivid on Highway 24 until watching that car float down the road during the "event" we saw Wednesday afternoon. Luckily no one was hurt when the mud and water slide shut down a big chunk of 24. However, this big muddy problem could have been worse.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has been working since June 1st on culvert repairs and reconfiguration and rock mitigation from Ute Pass Elementary to the west on Highway 24 and east to Rainbow Falls in Manitou. This two million dollar project started June 1st and is expected to be finished by the end of Summer. Dave Watt is a CDOT Engineer who's been an integral part of making sure that the water that's flowing to Fountain Creek makes it to the creek and not on the roads, "The improvements we are doing are helping. We're in the middle of the project so we are vulnerable to the weather more so than when we complete the culvert repairs."
Watt acknowledges the worst of Wednesday's water and mud problems happened in the entrance of the Waldo Canyon.. This area and the work below Rainbow Falls in Manitou are priority jobs for CDOT, "We are a work in progress and it could have been worse."
Kenneth Quintana is a CDOT Highway Maintenance Supervisor. He was Johnny on the spot during Wednesday's crazy flooding event, "It's not the first time I've seen it. We've been dealing with it since last year." The Waldo Canyon wildfire changed the landscape around Highway 24 says Quintana, "This is going to be a problem for the next 10 years. We can limit the amount of damage we get in this area. but as far as preventing it, that won't happen."