Flooding and Erosion

Heavy rain can lead to flooding and erosion of soils. If severe enough, highways can literally be washed away.

Flooding and erosion affecting the highways is mainly a result of heavy rain storms.  On occasion, rain storms can produce so much water that the existing drainage, natural streams or manmade ditches for example, cannot contain the flow.  The CDOT Hydraulics Program tries to plan for these events to protect the highway system.  However, some events cannot be foreseen.

Erosion in the drainage has lead to exposure of utility lines.

Exposed utility lines within a drainage after heavy rains.

In June of 2006 flood debris clogged a concrete box culvert. The water eroded out the highway in its search for a new flow path.

Flood damage along SH-67.

Debris flow on June 8, 2011

Debris flow at Waltrous Gulch on I-70 after accelerated snow melt and heavy rains.