Colorado

Mar 25, 2014 10:40 PM by Zach Thaxton

Black Forest prepares for summer of flash flooding

More than $1 million in flash flooding mitigation efforts are underway in Black Forest as the rainy season rapidly approaches.  The area is especially susceptible to flash flooding following last summer's devastating wildfire.

El Paso County Engineer Andre Brackin says the cost of the most expensive aspect of mitigation efforts was reduced dramatically thanks to a donation by Denver International Airport.  A 7-foot by 7-foot concrete box culvert has been installed under Casey Lane, a dead-end road that washed out last summer when floodwaters overwhelmed the existing small culvert.  "Apparently, there were quite a few of these 7-foot by 7-foot square concrete box sections that, for whatever reason, (DIA) weren't using on their project or became not needed," Brackin said.  The donaton "easily saved us several hundred thousand dollars," he said.

More mitigation work is easily visible in Black Forest Regional Park.  New culverts are in place in the parking lot and burned trees that were deemed hazardous and cut down for safety have been strategically installed along slopes and in drainage areas to steer water and debris.  "We're trying to use all that material to the best that we can for erosion protection," Brackin said.

Brackin says work will begin soon to install five new culverts underneath Shoup Road in an area east of Casey Lane that was particularly prone to flooding last summer.  Work will likely begin next year to replace two large culverts under Black Forest Road north of Shoup Road.

Brackin says the total cost of all the flash flood mitigation in Black Forest is around $1.1 million, funded by the Pikes Peak Regional Transportation Authority voter-approved one-cent sales tax.

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