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Camp Creek: Poles, tape show height of Gateway Road if it's raised


Orange tape atop a pole temporarily placed along Gateway Road shows the potential height of the road (14 feet at its highest point) if it's raised west of 30th Street to allow a detention pond on its upstream side for Camp Creek flood control. Other poles with tape can be seen in the background. Photo looks east toward 30th. The farthest car has just gone over the current creek bridge (made of reddish-orange concrete on either side of the guard rails).
Westside Pioneer photo
       A set of recently installed poles topped by orange tape along Gateway Road dramatize a suggested alternative of raising the road up to 14 feet to allow a detention pond behind it for Camp Creek.
       The idea will be among those up for discussion at the next Camp Creek public meeting Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. Like the two preceding get-togethers last fall, the meeting will be in the cafeteria at Coronado High School, 1590 W. Filllmore St., led by a team of city engineers and hired consultants. The goals are to identify short-term and long-term fixes for the drainage. No construction funding has yet been earmarked.
       The scope of the change on Gateway is indicated by 10 white, vertical marker poles that were recently set in the ground at intervals on either side of the road about 200 feet west of its intersection with 30th Street. The orange tape on top of each pole represents “the approximate elevation of the road surface proposed in the alternative,” reads the message on a sign that's also been temporarily installed there.
       The poles went in Feb. 15. They're scheduled to stay up through Feb. 23, the sign states.
       The sign also says why the poles are there: “Some people have asked for more information about the visual impacts of this alternative.”
       Engineers believe that the alternative, which was suggested conceptually at the first two Camp Creek meetings, could work because Gateway currently dips in that area with the creek as the low point. The result would be a flattening of the first 200 feet west of 30th and a shortening of the uphill to Juniper Way Loop.
       “The roadway embankment would serve as a detention area, temporarily storing flood water on the north side during large flow events and releasing it at a slower rate,” the sign states. “The areas adjacent to the raised roadway would only be disturbed to the extent required to construct side slopes to support the new roadway and would be vegetated as needed.”


A graphic with a north-facing vantage point shows how Gateway Road would be raised.
Courtesy of Colorado Springs Engineering

       The concept of one or more detention ponds for Camp Creek through the Garden of the Gods and Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site drew mixed reviews from the public at the first two meetings. According to a post-meeting project team report, people liked the idea of effective dentention and a dip fix; they didn't like the potential impacts on aesthetics, access to Sinton Trail (which parallels the creek) and the Rock Ledge parking lot.
       The Gateway-raising alternative will be among three to be presented at the Feb. 25 meeting, according to the Camp Creek project team. Information on the other two alternatives has not been provided. However, based on engineering concepts presented to date, they are likely to offer balances between remediation upstream and downstream - with heavier work in one meaning less work needed in the other.
       Coming out of the hills north of Garden of the Gods, the creek's drainage has been identified for years as needing upgrades, but the problems were dramatized last August and September, when heavy rains combined with vegetation losses from the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire caused some flooding. The worst problems occurred where the creek passes through the Garden of the Gods and Rock Ledge Ranch, although the water also ran high in its concrete ditch paralleling 31st Street through the Pleasant Valley neighborhood.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 2/18/14)

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