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In a view from the Mesa Road overlook during the latter part of the flooding of May 2015, Camp Creek is seen flowing out of Glen Eyrie (just north of the Garden of the Gods) into what's left of a temporary, city-built sediment pond that was overwhelmed by the volume of water at that time. Its location is roughly where the city plans a larger, permanent stormwater detention pond as part of its Camp Creek Drainage Improvement Plan.
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Camp Creek project open house June 5; roundabout planned at 31st & Fontanero

May 23, 2018
       It's been four years since Colorado Springs Engineering held a public meeting on its Camp Creek Drainage Improvement Plan. Since then, the city office has made three “refinements,” as it's calling them, regarding the scope of the work.
       These will be on view as part of a project open house Tuesday, June 5 in the Holmes Middle School Cafeteria, 2455 Mesa Road. The overall time frame is
A drawing from Colorado Springs Engineering's May 2018 Camp Creek newsletter shows how a roundabout could look at 31st and Fonatanero streets. (31st is the street going from lower left to upper right, with the creek channel and trail.) The new concept will be presented at the June 5 open house.
Courtesy of Colorado Springs Engineering
5:30 to 7 p.m., with a “presentation and discussion” from 6 to 6:30, a press release states.
       The three refinements are:
       - A roundabout instead of stop signs at 31st and Fontanero streets.
       - A realignment of Water Street to make it harder for people to shortcut between 30th and 31st.
       - A landscaped median north of Bijou Street (between the two sides of 31st Street) that will be about twice as long as previously planned.
       The open house will also provide news about ongoing Camp Creek improvements, which the city has termed “Phase 1.” Work in 2016 involved channel stabilization north of the Pleasant Valley neighborhood and initial steps toward construction of a stormwater detention pond at the north end of the Garden of the Gods.
       Stabilization efforts are to continue in 2019 in the area just north of Chambers Way, near the chapel in Rock Ledge Ranch, according to the city's May 2018 Camp Creek newsletter.
       The city drainage study and continuing construction work are also slowing Camp Creek's flow rates and thus reducing the number of Pleasant Valley
A view down Water Street shows the direct line it currently takes from 30th Street (foreground) to its bridge over 31st Street. In part because this invites cut-through traffic, the city is planning to move the bridge a short distance north to make the route less inviting to motorists. The north end of the Howbert Elementary playground and parking lot can be seen at left.
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homes in the floodplain, the newsletter states.
       The following provides more information about the above-mentioned drainage plan “refinements”:
  • Roundabout. Although not drainage-related, a roundabout at 31st and Fontanero will “improve public safety,” the newsletter states.
           Currently the broad intersection is a four-way stop, and because Fillmore/Fontanero is popular for commuters, westbound traffic can back up from 31st to 30th Street during rush hours.
           The city had previously considered a stoplight, but a separate study - looking at traffic issues on 30th Street west of Fontanero - favored a roundabout, explained City Engineering Manager Mike Chaves. Residents near that intersection agreed, based on “good, positive input,” he said.
           In a roundabout, traffic is continuous, with vehicles in the circle having the right of way. A city-provided drawing (displayed higher up on this web page) also shows that westbound Fontanero would be reduced from its current two lanes to one as it approaches the roundabout.
           The effect will be less congestion, braking/acceleration noise, cut-through traffic and air pollution, the city believes. Also, the newsletter asserts that the design
    A drawing from the city's May 2018 Camp Creek newsletter depicts a landscaped median (between the two sides of 31st Street). The median would be built above an underground pipe that would carry the creek flow from a point south of Willamette Avenue.
    Courtesy of Colorado Springs Engineering
    presents “the potential to create a focal point or gateway for the neighborhood.”
           As a size comparison, the proposed roundabout would be “somewhat larger” than the one at Mesa Road and Kissing Camels Drive,” the publication adds.
  • Water Street realignment. Under the approved drainage plan, the city had planned to upgrade Water's bridge over Camp Creek at 31st Street. But a problem arose. “There are three major water lines there [under the roadway], and they would be in the way,” Chaves said. “And to move them would have been pretty expensive.” (He noted as an aside that those water lines are the reason for the street's name.)
           So instead of moving the lines, the city decided to move the bridge. The direction will be a short distance to the north, which will put it a “little bit out of the way,” creating extra turns for people wanting to use Water Street for a shortcut between 30th and 31st, Chaves said. “We got inputs from homeowners who like that idea, saying that will discourage people from cutting through the neighborhood.”
  • Longer Camp Creek median. This length will result from the city extending its current, 1,200-foot underground pipe that takes drainage from Camp Creek's ditch at Bijou Street and carries it on to Fountain Creek.
           The plan from the 2013-14 study/public process was to extend the pipe about 700 feet north of Bijou (to Platte Avenue). The “refinement” will have it go roughly twice that far, to the north end of the curve between Valley Road and Willamette Avenue. A landscaped median will be built over it, plans show.
           North of that point, to the upper end of Pleasant Valley, the plan is to keep the creek like today, except in a channel that's wider, looks more natural than the current ditch and has the Foothills Trail next to it. The downside, as pointed out in the 2013-14 meetings, is that where the channel is widened that way, adjacent residents must choose between having a parkway or on-street parking.
           According to the newsletter, extending the pipe (with the median over it) “lessens the need for vertical walls along the channel and eliminates the need for a separate pedestrian bridge near Valley Road.”
           The refinement also avoids the erosion that engineers believe would have occurred with an open channel in the segment from Bijou to the curve, because that part of the creek is steeper than north of there. Further, as Chaves explained, Pleasant Valley residents who live next to a median will get to keep their parkway as well as their parking.
           For more information, the city website for the project is coloradosprings.gov/CampCreek.

    Westside Pioneer article
    (Projects: Flood Control)

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