2 Camp Creek flood-control projects in Garden of Gods to start in early 2019
Colorado Springs Engineering is planning to hire contractors to start work on two major Camp Creek flood-control projects in the early months of 2019.
One will improve the creek's channel for several hundred feet north of Pleasant Valley, from Chambers Way into the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.
The other project will build a detention/sediment collection pond and a 28-foot-high dam in front of it on 17 acres at the north end of the Garden of the Gods city park.
Both projects evolved from the city's Camp Creek study in 2013-2014 and have since been identified among roughly $500 million worth of projects in a 20-year stormwater intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
Helping fund many of the IGA projects is the city's Stormwater Enterprise, which property owners pay for through a monthly fee.
Channel improvements. According to to a report from the city's Stormwater Advisory Committee, this project will feature the installation of “grade control structures” to help stabilize the channel. Colorado Springs Engineer Mike Chaves elaborated that the structures will consist of boulders set across the creek at intervals. The flow will form "little waterfalls," he said, as it passes over the boulders, which will slow its pace and mean less channel gouging.
A change from the 2013-14 study is that the creek will not be rerouted north of Chambers Way. The study had shown the creek being straightened to flow around the east side of Rock Ledge's Mother's Chapel, instead of the west, as it does now. But in the final design, the city decided it would be a
The overall project cost estimate is $600,000, funded by the city.
Detention pond. This project had originally been planned for 2016, but was put on hold because artifacts were found from a personalized dumping ground that was linked to the upstream Glen Eyrie estate during the era of Colorado Springs founder William Palmer.
With the artifact collection completed in November, Chaves has said construction of the pond will likely start in March.
The pond will have a temporary storage capacity of 175 acre feet, sufficient to handle a 100-year flood as well as to collect sediment carried by such high waters from the Waldo Canyon burn scar in the hills above, according to the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project.
In such a flood, the pond will also halve the downstream flow, “thus greatly reducing the size of the flood plain though the Pleasant Valley neighborhood,” the EA adds.
The pond's dam will be reinforced with concrete - a mandate from the the state's engineering office - but will still have the earthen look envisioned in the Camp Creek study meetings, Chaves has said.
The project has a $7.8 million budget, which was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (75 percent), the city (12.5 percent) and the Colorado State Office of Emergency Management (12.5 percent).
A previously implemented Camp Creek project since 2014 is a channel stabilization project completed in 2016.
In Pleasant Valley itself, the study had recommended improved emergency access and a naturalized waterway replacing the current concrete-slabbed ditch between the two sides of 31st Street. A study update in 2018 proposed traffic-control upgrades - including a roundabout at 31st and Fontanero Street - but none of that work has been funded or scheduled as yet.
Westside Pioneer article