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First Phase of Flood Mitigation Work along Garden of Gods Park Complete

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First Phase of Flood Mitigation Work along Garden of Gods Park Complete

$9 Million in Grants Help Protect Park and Neighborhood, May Remove 120 Properties from 100-Year Floodplain

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The first of two major projects designed to protect Garden of the Gods Park, Rock Ledge Ranch and downstream neighborhoods from flash flooding and erosion and may remove 120 properties out of the 100-year floodplain is complete.

Thanks to two matching grants totaling approximately $9 million the first two phases of the multi-phase Camp Creek Drainage Improvement Project is underway. Work includes naturalistic channel stabilization, stormwater detention to reduce flood flows and sediment and debris impacting the area and the eventual reconstruction of drainage infrastructure along the 31st Street corridor to include a more naturalistic channel with capacity to convey the 100-year flood.

Channel stabilization work began August 29 was completed one month ahead of schedule.  A second project to construct a stormwater detention and sedimentation pond to replace a temporary sedimentation pond at the north end of the park is expected to get under construction early next year. Construction work for both projects will not impact traffic at Garden of Gods Parks and the Foothills Trail will continue to remain open the majority of the construction period, only closing for short durations as necessary.

Once complete, it is expected that 120 properties can be removed from the 100-year floodplain along Camp Creek. After approval of a FEMA flood map revision process these properties are expected to be removed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) regulatory floodplain and no longer be required to carry flood insurance. Phase I of the 31st Street drainage corridor has $4 million in available project funding in 2018 through the City’s Intergovernmental Agreement with Pueblo.

“We are pleased to complete the first step in addressing the increased flash flood risk along Camp Creek and to remove over 100 homes from potential risk. Some areas of western Colorado Springs are at risk for flash flooding and the work funded by these matching grants allows us to make significant headway in our ongoing recovery efforts following the Waldo Canyon Fire,” said Mayor John Suthers. Matching grant funds were made possible through project funds designated to leverage against grant opportunities under the Intergovernmental Agreement among the City, Colorado Springs Utilities and Pueblo County.

NRCS Funds Channel Stabilization Work

Naturalistic channel stabilization improvements were constructed along Camp Creek in four locations in Rock Ledge Ranch and in the northeastern portion of Garden of the Gods Park near 30th Street.   The project includes 32 structures along the creek with large natural boulders and newly planted vegetation to mitigate erosion and improve aesthetics and wildlife habitat along the creek. The creek bed and banks had been eroding at an accelerated rate since the 2012 Waldo Canyon wildfire fire burned vegetation in a large percentage of its watershed. Heavy runoff in spring 2015 resulted in significant erosion along the creek. Soil and rock eroded from the channel were carried downstream where it damaged improvements and decreased flood carrying capacity. Stabilization measures were designed to maintain the natural look and feel of park. To minimize impacts to natural vegetation in the park the construction contract limited any disturbance to the area immediately surrounding the project area. Any disturbed areas were reseeded with native grasses and shrubs to restore the original vegetation.

Construction Timeline: Aug. 29 through Nov. 30, 2016. (Completed: Oct 28, 2016)

Total Construction Cost:  $1,108,600. The City received an $831,450 matching Emergency Watershed Protection grant in spring 2016 from the Natural Resources Conservation Service for the project. The City’s share is $277,150 which is funded through IGA funds designated to leverage to obtain grants for needed repairs.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Funds Detention Facility

A large stormwater detention and sediment collection facility will be constructed in the far northeastern portion of Garden of the Gods Park using funds acquired through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the State of Colorado.  Completion of the facility will significantly reduce the potential for flood damage and life safety hazards from flooding along the Camp Creek corridor downstream of the detention basin and remove a majority of homes in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood from the 100-year floodplain. The project will also pave the way for downstream projects and reduce the flows into the 31st Street drainage corridor that allow for a new channel design that incorporates elements that were deemed important to the surrounding neighborhood during extensive community participation in the drainage corridor design.

 

The detention facility will significantly reduce the 100-year depth and width of the 100-year floodplain along 31st Street. After construction of the detention facility is complete, it is expected that all but about 30 of the properties along the 31st Street corridor can be removed from the FEMA regulatory floodplain through a FEMA flood map revision process.

 

The City applied for a grant for the stormwater detention facility in late summer 2014 and received notice of the grant award in late spring 2016.

Construction Timeline: 2017

Total Project Cost: $7,872,431 

  • 75 percent Federal Share:      $5,904,323 
  • 12.5 percent State Match:      $   984,054
  • 12.5 percent City Match:        $   984,054

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