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Money exists to start Pleasant Valley's Camp Creek rebuild; study to look at where

       Colorado Springs is moving closer to reconstruction of the Camp Creek channel through the Pleasant Valley neighborhood.
       A $21,000 “conceptual design” study by consulting engineer Wilson & Company in August and September will offer alternatives on where to spend $4.3 million earmarked for the Pleasant Valley segment's first phase, according to Brian Kelley of City Engineering.
      
An artist's rendering shows the conceptual plan for a rebuilt Pleasant Valley ditch with vegetated sides instead of concrete and a hiking/biking trail paralleling it.
Courtesy of Colorado Springs Engineering
Often called the “ditch” by Pleasant Valley residents, the 1950s-engineered channel follows 31st Street downstream from Chambers Drive to Bijou Street, where the water flows into a long underground pipe en route to Fountain Creek.
       A major public process/study in 2013-14 produced the main components of a major ditch-upgrade plan.
       A city consultant in that effort, Wilson will “utilize and build on the previous work to define the scope of a logical project that can be constructed within the constraints of the $4.3M project budget and physical site conditions,” Kelley explained in an e-mail. “Determining a phasing scheme that minimizes waste when future phases are constructed will be a significant portion of the effort.”
       The $21,000 is being taken from $700,000 that the city separately budgeted for detailed project design. Kelley added that a public meeting "will most likely occur" as to the study's recommendations. Construction is anticipated in a 2018-2019 time frame.
       Camp Creek is among several flood-control projects identified in an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) signed last year by Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities and Pueblo County.
       The Pleasant Valley upgrades called for in the 2013-2014 Camp Creek study include bridge replacements, flood-plain reduction measures, improved emergency access and a naturalized waterway with rock walls and landscaping replacing the current concrete slabs.
       That study also identified Camp Creek needs north of Pleasant Valley, through the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site and Garden of the Gods. Work in those areas started in 2016 with dredging and stabilization using large boulders. Later this year, construction is to start on a 17-acre detention pond at the Garden's north end that will hold back up to 175 acre feet in a flood.
       The latter project had been anticipated for a spring groundbreaking, but unexpected archeological questions arose in the area of the planned pond. Kelley said July 12 that a “third party” has been working on that analysis and he had not yet received an update.
       Upgrading the entire city-targeted drainage area (Pleasant Valley, Rock Ledge and the Garden) has an estimated price tag of $37 million. Funding for future channel phases in Pleasant Valley - beyond the $4.3 million IGA allotment - have not yet been identified.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 7/12/17; Projects: Flood Control)

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