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City has design, construction $ to start naturalizing Camp Creek through Pleasant Valley

      
Heavy equipment was required to stabilize the banks in five main parts of Camp Creek through the Garden of the Gods in September and October. The crew here was working just north of Chambers Way.
Westside Pioneer photo
Camp Creek has just had its banks stabilized through the Garden of the Gods.
       And by the end of the year, a contractor should be hired to start excavating a $7.8 million detention pond at the north end of the Garden, according to Mike Chaves of City Engineering.
       In addition to that - thanks to a recent city funding transfer - a third Camp Creek project is bobbing to the surface.
       It is to begin the long-awaited naturalizing of the Pleasant Valley channel/ ditch and replacing the bridges over it.
       Chaves said the transfer freed up about $700,000 for design. Money for some of that construction ($4.3 million) is already budgeted through a 20-year stormwater intergovernmental agreement (IGA) signed this year by Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities and Pueblo County.
       Chaves predicted that the design will take up to a year, noting that it will be based on concepts growing out of the city's Camp Creek study and public process during 2013-14.
       The study called for improvements to reduce flooding, improve emergency access, remove homes from the flood plain and control erosion. The study's renderings also showed a much prettier creek ditch through Pleasant Valley, including rock walls and landscaping instead of the current concrete slabs. But the overall estimated price tag (including the Garden of the Gods portion) was a hefty $37 million.
       According to the Camp Creek line item in the IGA list, the likely focus of the $4.3 million will be the channel segment between Water Street and Chambers Way.
       “The current drainage system is in need of immediate repair,” the line item also states, adding the intent to have the creek/ditch become “an amenity.”
       It is not known how soon construction might start after the design is done. The line item suggests a time frame of 2018-2019.
       The $700,000 for design was transferred from a city account that had been earmarked for a 1,200-foot steel culvert that carries Camp Creek drainage under 31st from Bijou Street to Fountain Creek. In 2012, city officials were unsure of its stability, but according to Chaves, an analysis since then has determined that the culvert “is not in that bad a shape.”
       In addition, he noted, the Colorado Department of Transportation is planning to rework the 31st Street intersection at some point, which could include a new kind of confluence for Camp and Fountain creeks (other than the long culvert).

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 10/29/16; Projects: Flood Control)

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