County plans long-term closure of Black Forest Road after culverts erode

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A portion of Black Forest Road will be closed for several months due to erosion that has made it unsafe.

“It was you know, six feet, eight feet away here just a few months ago. Just a couple of storms has got it right up at the edge of the asphalt,” said Andre Brackin, County engineer for El Paso County.

The road will be closed between Shoup Road and Swan Road starting November 1. County officials said the road could close sooner if rain or show accelerates the erosion process. The closure is expected to last until next summer.

County officials said two stormwater culverts over Kettle Creek were heavily damaged during summer flooding. They are eroding quickly, and county engineers have determined the road itself is now being threatened.

“The banding has come apart, so that now all the material from around the culvert is getting inside the culvert, washing out, so basically the road failure is imminent,” Brackin said.

The damaged culverts are about six tenths of a mile north of the intersection of Black Forest Road and Shoup Road. County officials said they were installed in 1976.

“A greater concern though with winter coming on, is we may not have the ability to monitor this location as well. We’re gonna be out plowing snow, we won’t be able to respond as quickly during the winter time,” Brackin said.

The county plans to replace the failing culverts with longer-lasting reinforced concrete pipes. County engineers are finalizing the construction plants, and expect to go out for bids on the project in January. Construction is expected to begin in March and be completed in July. The project will be paid for with a $1,050,000 federal grant plus $251,000 of county money.

Cars that normally travel on Black Forest Road will be detoured using Swan, Herring, and Shoup roads. The detour adds about three miles to the route. County officials are asking drivers to consider alternate route options and allow extra travel time.

County officials said about 5,000 vehicles use the road each day.

County officials said no residents will lose access to their driveways.

 

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