Dillon Dam road access now ‘extremely slow’
DENVER, Colorado ” Emergency access on a road that Denver Water officials closed due to security concerns at the Dillon Reservoir is now “extremely slow,” a Summit County official said after a test of access.
“If you’re in the back of an ambulance having a heart attack, these new procedures are going to add minutes, when minutes mean life or death,” Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue spokesman Brandon Williams said Thursday.
Denver Water officials, however, thought the test went well.
“If Summit County has concerns, they have not expressed them to us directly. We remain committed to working with emergency responders to make sure they have the access they need,” Denver Water spokeswoman Stacy Chesney said.
The utility closed the road Tuesday and placed heavy barriers at staggered positions across it because of security concerns at the reservoir, a primary source for the Denver area’s water.
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Summit County officials said they got little warning of the closure of the road, which is one of its three cross-county routes.
Williams said that during a test Thursday, an ambulance crew trying to cross the road had to notify one of three guards who can unlock gates at the entrance of the dam, wait for the gate to be re-locked behind them before being escorted across the dam, drive past the staggered barriers, and then wait to be let out at a gate on the opposite end of the road.
Williams said it took at least a minute for an ambulance to drive around one barrier.
Denver Water officials said they were working on changes.