Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fixes on the 'waterfall' project delayed

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 9:39 AM

click to enlarge Michael Chiaramonte stands in front of a gouge in the hillside where stormwater has caused erosion for decades. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Michael Chiaramonte stands in front of a gouge in the hillside where stormwater has caused erosion for decades.

Last summer, heavy rains brought a deluge to Laurel and Michael Chiaramonte's home in northwest Colorado Springs. Turned out, the city had approved a faulty drainage plan decades ago, and the constant flows of drainage water carved out a cavern in the hillside, and sent boatloads of water crashing down the side of the mountain.

After our report ("The waterfall no one wanted," Aug. 6, 2014), the city said it would fix the problem temporarily and work on a permanent solution. Well, things have bogged down, as reported to the Chiaramontes recently by the city's stormwater chief Tim Mitros.

In response, Chiaramonte tells us via email, "Hopefully the diversion is done before the rainy season."

Mitros' letter:
Mr. Chiaramonte,

Travis Easton has asked me to give you an update:

WHPacific, the Engineering firm we had under contract has closed down operations in Colorado. We have transferred the Contract to Kumar and Associates, the Geotechnical sub consultant that was on WHPacific’s team. Because Kumar was already doing the majority of the work, there will not be a change in the contract cost.

Kumar is putting together a design for the first phase of the project that includes a temporary drainage pipe bypass to minimize any additional water from doing more damage; controlled removal of loose rock/dirt; and a pinned netting system to mitigate further rock spalling. Weather permitting, the schedule has the design complete by mid-March, with a contractor selected to do the work in April. Once the stormwater is diverted and the area is more secure, the “permanent” solution (Phase 2) can be implemented. Kumar is also working on the permanent design; however, we haven’t established a timeline for construction.

At this time we have funds to complete the first phase. Funds for phase 2, the “permanent” solution were shown in Year 1 of the Stormwater funding project list. These funds will not be available until the SCIP bonds are paid off in 2016.

The proposed schedule of work.

February 10 Preliminary design for City review
March 6 Final design for City review
March 13 Bid package for Contractors
April 3 Contract award

Please contact me if you have any questions.


Timothy R. Mitros, P.E.
Development Review & Stormwater Manager

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