Al Gilson, Communications Manager
WSDOT Eastern Region
2714 N. Mayfair
Spokane, WA 99207
Ice and water runoff continues to cause problems on State Route 272 in Colfax.
Frigid weather is again causing ice and water runoff issues on the drainage system along SR 272 in the town of Colfax. The current sub-freezing weather is setting up a possible recurrence of a December event that washed away the fill material surrounding the drainage pipe. WSDOT crews are concerned that the ice will again block the pipe, and upcoming warmer weather may bring heavy rains that could cause a repeat of runoff problems experienced in December and January.
To prevent the possibility of another flood, WSDOT maintenance crews will remove the drainage pipe beginning this afternoon, Thursday, Feb. 6, and continuing on Friday, Feb. 7. Removing the pipe will avoid further damage to the drainage system this winter. The estimated cost for this removal work is about $5,000. In the spring, the drainage issue will be reevaluated to determine what changes need to be made to prevent future ice blockages and runoff overflows.
This section of SR 272 has a long history of drainage ditch erosion. WSDOT crews have made numerous repairs on this hilly section just east of downtown Colfax to protect the highway sub-surface from continued damage.
In fall 2013, approximately 300 lineal feet of culvert pipe and fill was installed in the SR 272 ditch to protect the existing roadway structure from repeated water erosion. WSDOT crews analyzed several repair options, concluding that filling the ditch and capturing the water in a culvert pipe was the least expensive alternative to the long-term erosion problem. Construction of the project was about $300,000.