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Colorado Springs, El Paso County reach agreement on addressing a notorious flash flooding area

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- An intersection known for flash flooding and rescues for decades, will finally be addressed as part of an agreement finalized this week between city officials and El Paso County officials.

The troubled intersection is at Siferd Boulevard and Date Street, just north of the busy Academy Boulevard/Austin Bluffs Parkway intersection, in the central part of town.

Google Maps

The Siferd/Date intersection is in the middle of the existing Templeton Gap drainage channel that produces high-velocity flooding during rainy weather; on many occasions, vehicles became trapped, and drivers and passengers had to be rescued by emergency personnel.

City of Colorado Springs

Because of the danger, officials installed closure gates in September 2019 to keep vehicles out of the intersection during floods; the gates require the Colorado Springs Fire Department to open and close them before and after storm events.


Contributing to the problem is that the intersection is in the Park Vista South neighborhood and is part of an enclave -- a small section of county jurisdiction that over time has been surrounded by the city limits -- which made determining who was responsible for ownership and maintenance confusing.

County Commissioner Cami Bremer said that the drainage there was built to rural county specifications and has become inadequate to handle the increased amount of drainage through the area.

El Paso County

"We're done pointing fingers at who's responsible and who's not," she said during a meeting Tuesday. "I'm excited about this plan."

The agreement states that the county will allow the city to annex the enclave -- making the city responsible for ownership and maintenance -- and both entities will split the $11 million cost to resolve the drainage issues.

Gayle Sturdivant, city engineer, said that the improvement plan calls for permanently closing the intersection to traffic and allowing the channel to continue flowing through.

City of Colorado Springs

Stormwater manager Richard Mulledy said that the intersection should close by the end of the year.

"The project is under design," he said. "We hope to have the work finished by next summer. Closing that intersection is the best, safest and most efficient option. We'll get rid of the existing crossing, re-grade the channel and then reinforce it. Doing it that way will prevent us from moving major utility lines through that area, although we'll install some hardened structures to protect these lines."


Park Vista South is a mixture of a dozen businesses and several dozen homes that are located on city, county or private property; those business owners and homeowners may choose whether to be part of the annexation.

The T-intersection is popular for drivers.


"How's it going to affect individuals trying to get in here?" said Constant Nichols, who regularly drives through the intersection. "That's going to be a problem, and hopefully the city can figure it out."

Reanna Remillard has lived near he intersection for four years.

"The traffic is so busy through here, and traveling so fast, that I'm afraid my kids will get hit," she said. And there are no street lights, so it's dark, too. So if they want to close it, I'm fine with that. I won't complain. Safety is what's most important. There are other ways that people can get in and out of here."


The county's contribution will come from its share of federal funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act, while the city is allocating money from its Stormwater Enterprise Fund.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.


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