Culverts on Hwy 72 in need of repair, already causing flooding concerns

Several culverts damaged last Sept. still clogged

GOLDEN, Colo. - Spring runoff in the Colorado high country is already causing concern about flooding in some areas.

On Highway 72 up Coal Creek Canyon, many of the culverts damaged by last September's catastrophic floods remain collapsed, damaged or clogged.

"It collapsed on us the 10th of April," said Coal Creek Canyon resident Garrick Steele of a new issue with a culvert on Crescent Lake Road.

"Well, it's called Crescent Lake Estates, but there really isn't typically a lake here. This is not normal," said Steele of a small lake forming on the high side of the road where the culvert is clogged.

The Colorado Department of Transportation and Denver Water are working with residents to fix problems even though many of the culverts lead to private driveways and are privately owned, like the one on Crescent Lake Road.

"We recognize that that canyon has been through a lot," said CDOT engineer Stephen Harelson. "So we're just trying to keep another issue from happening."

"Access culverts are the responsibility of the property owner rather than CDOT, but CDOT is attempting to find ways to keep them clean and be a good neighbor," Harelson added.

Denver Water spokesman Travis Thompson said the utility met with residents on Crescent Lake Road on Thursday. And even though the collapsed culvert is privately owned, Denver Water plans to make the repairs to the culvert as a good faith measure.

"Denver Water has been pretty stand-up for taking care of it," said Steele.

Harelson said with any luck, emergency repairs made last fall will hold up through the spring run-off until more permanent ones can be made.

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