Thursday, February 6, 2014

Camp Creek stormwater meeting coming up

Posted By on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Remember this house in Manitou Springs? This is what planners are trying to prevent in Pleasant Valley. - J. ADRIAN STANLEY
  • J. Adrian Stanley
  • Remember this house in Manitou Springs? This is what planners are trying to prevent in Pleasant Valley.

If you live in or around the Pleasant Valley neighborhood on the west side, then you're probably already aware of the dangers of the Camp Creek watershed.

But allow me to review: the Camp Creek watershed is huge by local standards, and was scorched in the Waldo Canyon fire, leaving it particularly vulnerable to flooding. Worse, the water flowing from scorched hillsides is funneled into a narrow, steep shoot near Garden of the Gods, before it comes rushing through Rock Ledge Ranch, and then down a severely undersized concrete channel that cuts through the Pleasant Valley neighborhood. From there, the water meets Fountain Creek near West Colorado Avenue.

The area already saw some flooding and debris deposits in last summer's storms, but not nearly what it could have. In terms of potential for destruction, should the right storm hit, Camp Creek is one of the most dangerous watersheds. Which is why the city is really eager to do some upgrades to the stormwater system before next summer's monsoon season. 

On Feb. 25, the city will present alternative plans to deal with stormwater systems. Nearby residents are encouraged to attend and give input.

Read on to learn more:
Alternative Designs to Improve Camp Creek Drainage to be Unveiled at February 25 Community Meeting

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.— Three possible design solutions will be presented to the community at an upcoming meeting focused on improvements to the Camp Creek drainage corridor. The community meeting has been scheduled for:

Tuesday, Feb. 25
6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Coronado High School Cafeteria
1590 W. Fillmore St.

This is the third in a series of community workshops held over the past four months to explore possible solutions to address the flooding and erosion issues in the drainage corridor. The corridor extends through the Garden of the Gods and Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, along 31st Street through the Pleasant Valley neighborhood south to a confluence with Fountain Creek near U.S. Highway 24.

The City has hired local engineering firm Wilson & Company to head up a project team to study the corridor and work with the community to develop solutions that are both technically sound and responsive to community desires.

At the meeting, engineers from Wilson & Company and AMEC will review three alternative designs and will ask for responses to those designs from meeting attendees. The alternatives are based in part on the community’s responses to five design concepts presented at a Dec.12 meeting.

“If this corridor is important to you, I encourage you to attend the meeting. We’ve reviewed many ideas with the public but now we’re narrowing the choices. Our goal at the end of this meeting is to have a solid feel from the community about a preferred solution,” according to City Project Manager Mike Chaves.

It’s anticipated that emergency repairs will be made to the drainage channel prior to the 2014 flash flood season. The planning, final design and permitting of large-scale projects is estimated to take approximately 18 months before actual construction of larger projects can begin.

Improvements will be designed to protect public safety and private and public property throughout the corridor from flooding and erosion. Camp Creek originates in a large watershed that was severely burned during the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire.

Those interested in the Camp Creek project can find regular updates on the City’s website at or follow #CampCreek on Twitter.


Project Background

Rainstorms this summer produced high water levels and significant erosion and debris deposits in Garden of the Gods and Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site. Runoff and debris produced by the storms also damaged the lining of the large concrete channel in 31st Street that carries the creek through the Pleasant Valley neighborhood. Even prior to the Waldo Canyon fire there were a number of concerns in the Camp Creek drainage. The existing channel lacks the capacity to handle a 100-year flood. A large number of homes and businesses located within the adjacent mapped floodplain are at risk of flooding during a large storm event. The concrete lining in portions of the channel along 31st Street is in poor condition and requires frequent repairs. Both the channel and about half of the bridges that cross it have been identified by the City as needing major maintenance or replacement.

The drainage corridor is not only home to the National Natural Landmark Garden of the Gods, but also Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site - a property on the National Register of Historic Places. As a result, flood protection measures will need to be sensitive to the special characteristics of both City park properties.   

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