Road Closures at the CO 194 underpass aren’t a new occurrence for residents of Las Animas, but with no fixes on the horizon, travelers will have to continue to endure the inconvenience.

During last week’s Bent County Commissioners meeting, discussion was had regarding how to resolve the problem.

“There’s not an easy fix,” said Commissioner Kim MacDonnell about the flooding that plagues the road.

The commissioners voiced their opinion that dredging the river and discovering the source of the flooding would be the preferred course of action, but without the help of the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers, that won’t be possible.

MacDonnell mentioned that the flooding is a recurring issue.

“This room was full of people last year at this very same time,” she said.

Ajin Hu, program engineer with the Colorado Department of Transportation, told the Bent County Democrat that the flooding is caused by the raised river bed.

In the past, CDOT has received a lot of calls when the highway floods, said Hu, and that feedback could jump start changes.

But nothing is going to happen until 2021, at the earliest.

“We have $1 million dollars to address several issues,” she said.

Deciding where that money goes will happen at CDOT's quarterly meetings with their Transportation Planning Regions. If the decision is made to fix the CO 194 issue, the agency's next step would be to work with the Army Corps of Engineers, which controls what happens to the river.

Hu said there are many roads that need improvements, too, and little money to fix it all.

So the roads with the most damage will get priority when handing out dollars.

Hu assures travelers that closing CO 194 for a lengthy period of time because of the flooding is not going to happen.

She said closures may occur, but only long enough to drain the water from the roadway.