Ute Pass Flooding Procedures Begin May 1

April 20, 2016 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - EL PASO COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) flash flooding protocol for U.S. 24, west of Colorado Springs, remains the same in 2016. v

Beginning on Sunday, May 1, when the National Weather Service forecasts a Flash Flood Warning, or when rainfall and ground saturation conditions warrant (one inch or more of cumulative rain during a five-day period), CDOT Maintenance crews will monitor the highway at Cave of the Winds Road, at Cascade, and in the Green Mountain Falls area.

If a storm does hit the area, CDOT will not preemptively close the highway but will have plow trucks continuously traveling the corridor to ensure water or debris flow is remaining off the roadway.  If flooding or debris begins to threaten or impact Highway 24, it will immediately be closed to all traffic.  Crews then will sweep the corridor to ensure there are no individuals and/or vehicles remaining in the closure area.

Before the highway is reopened to traffic, CDOT will assess the condition of the roadway, making sure any storm-related debris has been removed and the highway is safe for travel.   

“When flooding on Ute Pass became a problem in 2013, after the Waldo Canyon Fire, we would preemptively close the highway for safety reasons whenever there was a threat of rain in the area,” said CDOT Maintenance Foreman Kenny Quintana.  “But that was creating a hardship for residents and businesses alike.  So last year, we implemented the new protocol.  Even though we didn’t receive any heavy rain storms last season, it still seems to be the best option for now, from both a public safety standpoint and for people who need to travel Highway 24.”

CDOT stationed crews on Ute Pass due to flood warnings several times in 2015 but the highway never had to be closed.

This protocol continues through September 30, 2016.

Information regarding the status of Highway 24 is available via e-mail or text.  Please visit www.cotrip.org and click on the cell phone icon in the center of the page.  Page down to Highway Corridor Travel Information and checkmark US 24 Ute Pass.