Flooding Could Wash Out Bridges in Colorado: CDOT Currently Inspecting
The flood waters that caused the Big Thompson River and Poudre River to rise last night are causing problems with roadways and bridges in Northern Colorado. Many major arteries including I-25 have been shut down, and in the towns of Fort Collins and Loveland virtually every bridge that crosses these major rivers is now closed.
CDOT posted the following message on their website about the state of the roadway infrastructure in Northern Colorado:
Due to the amount of saturation and possible unstable conditions of the state highways, the Colorado Department of Transportation advises motorists to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary”
We talked to Amy Ford, Director of Communications at CDOT, who told us that CDOT engineers are currently inspecting all of the bridges and roadways in the Northern Colorado. At this point there have been no bridge washouts in either Fort Collins or Loveland, but reiterated that just because a bridge is still standing doesn’t mean it’s structurally sound. She estimated it would be at least a few days before engineers are able to inspect all of the structures in the storm’s path and get roadways re-opened.
With the volume of water that we are seeing flow through these rivers, bridges could wash out. Ford mentioned that the structures are built to withstand a 10- year flood and added that we are currently at that point. The City of Fort Collins estimated that the Poudre River was flowing at over 10,000 cfs this morning and said that the flow volume was expected to climb. UPDATE: 1:05 PM – Water volume is now decreasing.
In the end, safety is paramount in a situation like this for CDOT. But it will take some time before local roads re-open and things begin returning to normal.