Mitigation work begins on Bear Creek Watershed

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Construction begins Tuesday, June 2, on a mitigation project in the Bear Creek Watershed to reduce possible future damage to High Drive and its drainage system and reduce sediment transport into Bear Creek. Work will periodically impact access to High Drive, a multi-use recreational trail in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, including some daily closures between the Bear Creek and Captain Jacks trails. Closures will be clearly marked onsite.

Work is expected to last through early August, weather dependent. The project will not affect access to the portion of High Drive that connects to the Palmer Trail/Section 16 Loop and the Bear Creek Trail.

Funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), work includes:

  • Creation of three sediment basins to capture sediment from and create natural alluvial fans just uphill of the Bear Creek Trail intersection, near the meadow. This specific area will be the most impacted by this project.
  • Creation of a low water crossing on High Drive to address an area that historically washes out.
  • Replacement of numerous outdated and undersized culverts.
  • Placement of rip rap check dams in the roadside swale.
  • Roadway narrowing to create an additional vegetative buffer.
  • Hydroseeding the sides of the road and all areas of disturbance.

These improvements were included in the Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Environmental Assessment led by the USDA Forest Service and completed in 2016 https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/psicc/home/?cid=STELPRDB5397304&width.... An instream habitat restoration for Bear Creek’s greenback cutthroat trout population, a federally-listed threatened species, will begin later this fall.

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