New PV ditch will have to be wider, with street closer to homes

       The plan that the public liked best for Camp Creek drainage improvements is the one that's been recommended by the city's engineers. It calls for transforming the current concrete-lined ditch down the middle of 31st Street through Pleasant Valley into a more natural-looking channel with a concrete trail on the side.

A graphic with engineered measurements presents the difference between the existing and proposed ditch and road layout along 31st Street through Pleasant Valley. Note, for example, that the ditch width is 40 feet now and would become 63 feet to meet flood-control needs.
Courtesy of Colorado Springs Engineering

       Another way the city proposal is in line with citizen input is that it does not call for a major detention pond at Gateway Road next to Rock Ledge Ranch. This had been a frowned-on option; now the city is saying that upstream detention would only occur at the far north end of the Garden of the Gods, in the area where the city began digging a large hole this spring to catch creek sediment.
       That would slow flood waters considerably, according to Tim Mitros, city stormwater manager; however, a wider and slightly higher bridge over Camp Creek would still be needed at Gateway because the current culvert there is not large enough to handle the 100-year flood. Other upstream work in the project would involve building 30 drop structures (sets of boulders at separated locations) to slow the flow, as well as cleaning out sediment and debris that resulted from the heavy rains in summer 2013.
       Under project plans, the Pleasant Valley ditch would have to be widened to handle the 100-year flood. This would move the street five to six feet into the parkway (owned by the city) on either side, narrowing the parkway and forcing some decisions on whether to save trees or on-street parking, according to Mike Chaves, a city civil engineer assigned to the project.
       Mitros said a likely benefit of a narrowed street would be slowing the cars through Pleasant Valley - cut-through traffic being a longstanding frustration for that subdivision's residents.
       An issue still to be resolved is how to design the street shift so that parking in front of Howbert Elemen-tary is preserved.
       The recommended plan for Camp Creek was one of three alternatives presented at a previous public meeting. The other two were for a concrete ditch similar to what's there now and an underground culvert with landscaping on top. The city's recommended alternative scored noticeably higher in public comments.
       The overall project is could cost $36 million, according to an estimate announced at the most recent meeting in April. The city has no earmarked funds, but is seeking grants and may do the work in phases, engineers have said.
       The long-range Camp Creek project is separate from current repairs on the ditch's concrete lining. The concrete had been cracked or broken in places, some of it resulting from the 2013 rains. City engineers expect that work to be finished by the end of May.

Westside Pioneer article