City nearing completion on Camp Creek sediment basin at north end of Garden of the Gods
Tim Mitros, the city's stormwater manager, estimated an early-July finish date for the $200,000 project.
About four acres in size, the “big hole in the ground,” as he's called it, will straddle the Camp Creek channel.
According to plans, the creek will flow into the roughly 10-foot-deep basin down a roughly 45-degree slope that's set with large rocks to avert erosion. The effect will be to slow the water long enough to settle out much of the dirt it's carrying.
Without that, last summer's Camp Creek flooding left behind an alluvial fan of sediment of more than an acre at the north end of the Garden that temporarily closed the Foothills Trail (beside the creek) and required 150-some truckloads to clear out.
Another part of the project involves constructing a ramp from a private road down into the basin so that city equipment can go in as needed to clean out the basin and haul the collected dirt away.
According to Mitros, the long-range plan is to have the “hole” work in conjunction with a detention pond and earthen dam that will be built about 1,000 feet downstream, but well north of Gateway Road. The pond's job will be to prevent large volumes of water from careening down through the park and into the Pleasant Valley neighborhood.
Engineers believe that the flooding impacts last summer were greatly worsened by the loss of vegetation in the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire in the hills west of Colorado Springs where the creek has its source. The general consensus is that growing the vegetation back will take up to 10 years.
With that in mind, the city's plan for the sediment basin is to keep it operational for that long. The city contracted with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP), a Lake George-located watershed-restoration nonprofit, to build the basin.
The city's originally announced cost estimate had been $350,000, but this was revised down to $200,000 after closer design scrutiny, Mitros clarified.
City Council approved $8.8 million in emergency funding last year for Camp Creek and the two Douglas Creek drainages (north and south). The latter two creeks come down from the Waldo fire zone and flow in concrete channels through the Holland Park neighborhood.
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