Doug Creek: Work starts on last of 4 emergency repairs

       Work has begun on the fourth and last of the Stormwater Enterprise-identified “emergency repair” locations in the concrete-lined Douglas Creek drainage channel.

A broken segment of the Douglas Creek concrete channel can be seen from the Plasmon company parking lot in 2007. The bridge in the background over the channel supports Arrowswest Drive.
Westside Pioneer photos

       The location is just east of Arrowswest Drive, a few hundred feet south of Garden of the Gods Road. The project by Spaccamonti Excavating of Pueblo will use up the last of the $200,000 set aside for the repairs along a one-mile stretch between Arrowswest and Centennial Boulevard, according to Julie Pearson, a civil engineer with the city's Stormwater Enterprise.
       Depending on how costs go, the project will take in the currently cleared 164 feet or add about another 50 feet east of that. In any case, “we are going to spend every dime,” she said.
       That will bring to $500,000 the total expenditure on emergency segments totaling about 500 feet of the concrete channel. A fifth location, 250 feet in length, had also been identified on the “emergency” list, but no more money is available and project manager Steve Jacobsen has said that despite the potential for future deterioration it is the least likely of the five to cause serious problems in the immediate future.
       The good news, money-wise, according to Jacobsen, is that Spaccamonti is not running into the severe undermining that plagued the first two emergency repairs and pushed those costs higher than expected.
       Meanwhile, a consultant (Stantec, out of Denver, which had previously identified the emergency-repair segments) is developing a plan for a complete channel upgrade. Stormwater Enterprise expects to present the plan to the public later this year.

A photo taken last week from the bridge shows the work in progress to repair that segment.
Westside Pioneer photo

       However, because of spending cutbacks, the implementation part of the upgrade is on hold, Jacobsen and Pearson said.
       Eventually, Pearson foresees a channel with a natural bottom that would use drop structures to slow the water coming downstream. Right now, with the smooth concrete, “the velocity goes so fast,” she said.
       The Douglas Creek channel is a major one in the city. Coming out of Mountain Shadows and continuing through Holland Park to Monument Creek, “it drains a pretty big area,” Pearson said. She added that from water marks she saw on the concrete sides after a recent afternoon storm, the channel was running “at least half full” at one point. In a 100-year flood, the channel would likely overflow, she said.

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