‘Emergency repairs’ for Douglas Creek’s concrete

       A year ago, the dilapidated Douglas Creek drainage west of Centennial Boulevard was not on the list of repair projects for the city's Stormwater Enterprise.
       Now it's right at the top. After analysis over the past year, "emergency repairs" to the concrete-lined segment between Centennial and Arrowswest Drive are planned for this November, followed by design and phased implementation of a longer-range plan starting in 2009, according to Steve Jacobsen, a senior civil engineer for the Enterprise.
       In all, about $3.8 million is budgeted for improvements to the roughly half-mile of channel, states a Stormwater Enterprise report to City Council in September. Along that stretch are a industrial complexes and homes, while downstream are denser numbers of homes and the Douglas Creek Open Space.
       Jacobsen said the emergency work this year will use on-call contractors to repair the concrete, which has broken apart in several locations. The estimated cost for that work is $250,000.
       "These will be spot fixes that can't wait for the longer-term plan," he said. "It's pretty evident where the soil below the concrete has been exposed."
       It was that concern that caused the channel to go up in priority. "We don't want to lose any more of the channel than we already have," Jacobsen explained. "We're trying to contain the damage… $250,000 could look pretty cheap if we let it deteriorate any further."
       Once a master plan is worked out, the city would plan to spend the remainder of the $3.8 million phasing in permanent improvements between 2009 and 2011, he said.
       The master-plan process is under way now, with the goal of presenting it for review at a citizens' meeting sometime in the first quarter of '09. One issue is whether the concrete lining should remain. East of Centennial and down to Sinton Pond and Monument Creek, the drainage channel is natural.
       The master-plan meeting will be held "when we get to the point where we can give some hard infomation and listen to their [citizens'] input," Jacobsen said.
       Citizen input helped publicize the Douglas Creek drainage issue to this point. The Holland Park Community Association contacted the city and later the Westside Pioneer, which published a story with photos in August '07.

Westside Pioneer article