A southern El Paso County road that had been washed out in a heavy downpour in late July has reopened after culverts were installed and other repairs last week.
Old Pueblo Road south of Fountain and north of Hanover Road, which serves as an emergency bypass for Interstate 25, collapsed during torrential storms that pounded the area July 23, bringing heavy rains, hail and wind.
Two Hanover firefighters and the driver of a car were injured when the culvert was washed out and the pavement above crumbled.
The firefighters were responding to the earlier car crash when their truck went into the sinkhole and landed on top of the car.
“We want to thank everyone, especially residents living in the area, for their patience during the work, the subsequent road closure, and any inconvenience this may have caused,” El Paso County Executive Director of Public Works Jim Reid said.
“We wanted to make sure that Old Pueblo Road had been given a permanent fix that will keep motorists and residents downstream safe for years to come.”
County engineers began designing the reconstructed roadway immediately after the washout occurred.
Before the washout, a 48-inch corrugated steel pipe had been used to convey water flowing through the drainage and under the road as the water headed toward Fountain Creek to the west.
The $1.2 million project included placing 10 7-foot-by-7-foot concrete box culverts in the channel under Old Pueblo Road. After crews performed utility line relocation and built a rock under-drain to divert groundwater seepage from the site, the culverts were placed in two five-culvert rows on Sept. 11.
Finishing work to include head walls, wing walls, grading, additional paving, etc. will be completed in the following months through a separate design/construction contract.