City starts addressing stormwater problems

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The city of Colorado Springs has started addressing deteriorating, outdated or over-used storm drainage areas in the city limits – after a series of rainstorms in July and August caused widespread flooding in the city limits.

 

The money was appropriated for the projects this spring, and some of the work will be finished in time for next summer’s rainstorms, according to a press release from the city.

Colorado Springs is spending money from Utilities, already approved budget money for stormwater and a funds from a special appropriation to ease flooding concerns city wide.

According to city spokeswoman Cindy Aubrey, the city’s already made progress toward fixing some infrastructures to prevent flooding inside the city limits.

Here are the details from the city’s press release:

Mirage channel at Briargate

The Mirage channel is a concrete-lined, approximately 1500-foot-long channel that was constructed in 1982.  It flows westward from Union Boulevard between Rampart High School and The Preserve at Briargate housing development.  The channel has experienced deterioration over time and suffered a significant failure during a storm in 2010. After being repaired, it was again damaged during a large storm in 2012, after which the city contracted with engineering firm Wilson and Company to design a new channel with additional capacity.

After an expedited design and bidding process, the construction contract was awarded to Tezak Heavy Equipment for $1.7 millionand Tezak began the work on July 29. The contract stipulates 150 calendar days from start to completion, and completion is expected mid-December 2013.

North and South Douglas Creeks

North Douglas Creek flows generally southeasterly from Wolf Ranch through Pinon Valley to Garden of the Gods Road, through the Holland Park neighborhood and under I-25 to join Monument Creek. South Douglas Creek flows generally southeasterly from Flying W Ranch through the Mountain Shadows neighborhood to 30th street, Garden of the Gods Road and then through the Holland Park neighborhood and under I-25 to join Monument Creek.

Since the Waldo Canyon Fire, rainfall events have produced greater amounts of sediment and debris loads and increased stormwater runoff in North and South Douglas Creeks. These factors make the already aging and deteriorating concrete channel more susceptible to damage and erosion. City Engineering contracted with two consultants to review all available documents associated with these two channels and perform an extensive inspection of the more than six miles of concrete-lined channel. City Engineering and the consultants then prioritized the needed repair work, assuring the most critical needs are bid out and repaired, thereby receiving the best value for the money spent. City Engineering has hired a contractor to repair a section of South Douglas Creek, north of the intersection of Flying W Ranch Road and 30th Street, which failed in an August 9, 2013, storm. The major portion of the repair work is being bid in four contracts to allow work to be done concurrently. Contract documents for Phase 1 and 2 have been advertised for bidding which will open on September 24. Contract documents for Phase 3 and 4 will be advertised for bid in the coming weeks. It is anticipated that Phase 1 and 2 construction work will be under contract by the end of September 2013, with Phase 3 and 4 construction work being under contract in October 2013. All repair work is expected to be completed by late spring 2014.

The project team will hold an informational Open House to update citizens and adjacent property owners on the upcoming construction work from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the El Paso County Citizens Service Center, 1675 Garden of the Gods Road.

Camp Creek

Camp Creek flows southward from the Navigators campus through Garden of the Gods Park and along 31st Street in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood. Since the Waldo Canyon Fire, rainfall events have produced greater amounts of sediment and debris loads and have increased stormwater runoff in Camp Creek.

The city has selected a consulting firm to lead community meetings and perform analysis on the drainage basin to develop alternatives and a preferred course of action for construction of flood mitigation structures/facilities.

The consultant began work on the Camp Creek project this week.  One of the first tasks will be to hold a public meeting in late September to explain and outline the broad goals of the project and solicit ideas and information from public and private stakeholders. Details of the meeting to be announced.

2 Responses to City starts addressing stormwater problems

  1. Feast or famine. It could be time for another surface water project. Seems like there is a big prairie out there just waiting for a lake. But in fact every structure in this city could be helping to control storm water runoff by harvesting and storing rainwater for outdoor and garden use and installing pervious drives and walkways. Pervious surfaces allow water to soak into the ground and not runaway madly. Right now, all the concrete installed in the city and the county becomes a water channel during severe rains. And many Colorado communities have passed regulations that won’t allow rainwater collection. Might as well shoot yourself in the foot.

    Steven Shepard
    September 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

  2. Years ago, we could not discuss sex or taxes. At least now, we can talk about sex (in whispers) but this tax thing is still touchy ! How we deal with Storm Water may lay the foundation on how the remaining needs will be met – – or passed on to future generations who seem to be ‘out-migrating’.

    Between the need to re-develop downtown into a major ‘draw’ for not only visitors but residents on a frequent and regular basis – – and the need to deal with the 1.3 Billion in stormwater costs in addition to close to an additional 4 Billion in additional city and county needs – – is it time we begin the discussion on the role taxes play in creating a stable and inviting environment?

    Do we pay a little more and thrive or pay less and die? Join our survey group as we discuss money in a rather unashamed fashion.

    Rick Wehner
    September 10, 2013 at 6:01 am