Fountain Creek at least will get done, city says
Despite storm warnings for the Stormwater Enterprise, the Fountain Creek restoration project along Highway 24 east of 21st Street will be allowed to finish.
Not so lucky are two formerly high-priority Westside drainage reconstruction projects - Camp Creek (the 31st Street ditch) through Pleasant Valley and the Douglas Creek channel west of Holland Park. These are no longer scheduled and will not be funded during the remaining two years of the enterprise, according to its manager, Kenneth Sampley.
The city-owned operation - which is partnering in the $2.3 million Fountain Creek project with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Gold Hill Mesa development ownership - has been the subject of debate since Question 300 passed in the Nov. 3 election and its author, Doug Bruce, insisted that the vote should trigger the enterprise's immediate termination.
However (despite lawsuit threats from Bruce), City Council has decided instead to let the Stormwater Enterprise phase out over the next two years to finish up key projects. This includes Fountain Creek, which “will be one of the projects that will be continued until completed,” explained Lisa Ross, a stormwater engineer.
The project is 80 percent complete, with completion now seen in late December, Sampley told council at its Nov. 23 meeting.
Started in late June, the project will result in a new creek channel between about 14th and 20th streets. Goals are to handle a 50-year storm and to provide the capacity for a 100-year (when Highway 24 is rebuilt sometime in the future). Control of former gold mill tailings and creation of trout habitats are also part of the work.
Before the election changed the situation, Stormwater had planned a $3.4 million rebuild of the concrete-lined Douglas Creek channel in 2011 and 2012, following public meetings on design plans that were to occur next year. The enterprise spent about $500,000 this past year fixing its four worst concrete failures, with the idea that would keep water leakage in check for the time being, according to Steve Jacobsen, the engineer on that project.
The Camp Creek ditch, also concrete-lined, was tentatively slated in 2006 for a $13 million redo as early as 2008. Stormwater had since rescheduled it to 2013, but now that is off the books as well, according to Sampley.
Westside Pioneer article