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Major city project to 'mitigate erosion' along
flood-battered Camp Creek

A graphic provided for the city illustrates the focus points of the stabilization work on Camp Creek that is planned to start by Sept. 1.
Courtesy of the City of Colorado Springs
Work is slated to start by about Sept. 1 on a previously announced, major stabilization project for Camp Creek. Heavy equipment will be used, but the goal is to have a fully restored, "naturalistic channel" in the end.
       Ninety-percent funded by a federal grant, the $1.1 million project will have five focus points in all - one of them north of Gateway Road and the other four south of it, based on a graphic provided by the city.
       The contractor is Beers & Brock Construction. The project should be finished by the end of November, according to Richard Mulledy, the city stormwater manager.
       The 90 percent is coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through its Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP). The other 10 percent of the project cost is from city funds, he said.
       The stabilization is one of two significant upcoming improvements the city has planned for Camp Creek. The other, also primarily funded by federal funds, will be a stormwater detention pond at the north end of the Garden of the Gods. That project is scheduled to begin at the end of this year, Mulledy said.
       The "Camp Creek Newsletter," published by the city, states that the stabilization work will “construct naturalistic channel stabilization structures, shape banks, and plant vegetation along portions of Camp Creek. The purpose of the structures is to mitigate erosion that has been occurring at an accelerated pace along the creek since the Waldo Canyon fire in 2012. The wildfire burned a large percentage of the Camp Creek watershed, resulting in larger and more frequent water flows in the creek, leading to increased erosion.”
       The newsletter continues that “the stabilization structures, known as 'cross vanes,' will be constructed with large boulders… The structures will serve as small steps in the bed of the channel. They will add stability to the channel by limiting the depth that erosion can occur downward. They will also reduce the amount of erosive flow that is directed at the creek's banks in critical locations, such as curves.”
       Heavy equipment will be used for the work; however, the contractor has been urged to "minimize disturbances" as much as possible. Restoration of the terrain will be part of the project, the newsletter notes.
       The work south of Gateway will be on the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site property. The city is requiring the contractor to “coordinate the construction in Rock Ledge Ranch to minimize impacts to normal activities and special events,” Mulledy said. “Rock Ledge Ranch has been updated during the design process and will continue to be coordinated with during the construction.”
       In related news, the newsletter announces that (as predicted by city engineers at public meetings held over a year ago) the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has reconsidered the scope of its floodplain boundaries and reduced its size. The action resulted from a city request. This removes 57 properties (but adds 6) to the regulatory flood plain. A further reduction is expected after both Camp Creek projects are completed.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 8/23/16; Projects: Flood Control)

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