Stormwater project reduces flooding along Sand Creek, adds outdoor amenity

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The recent completion of a stormwater project along Sand Creek also lays way to a new public outdoor amenity. The stormwater channel stabilization project along Sand Creek protects the Platte Avenue Bridge and surrounding public and private properties from erosion and it also incorporates a 2,000-foot navigable fat bike trail in Sand Creek and created a maintenance road that will later become a Tier 1 multi-use trail and part of the Sand Creek Trail.

Taking advantage of Global Fat Bike Day on Saturday, Dec. 1 the City, in partnership with the Trails and Open Space Coalition and Bike Colorado Springs, is hosting an opportunity for people to explore the first of its kind trail by fat bike or foot and learn more about the project design and benefits.

The public is invited to bring their fat bike (and helmet) to explore this multi-use trail opportunity Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Local fat bike company, Borealis Fat Bikes, will provide test bikes to attendees who signed up to reserve a bike. To reserve a bike contact Jerry Cordova at jcordova@springsgov.com.

Representatives from the will be on-hand to present project details, discuss future trail connectivity and fat bike opportunities.

“This is an example of the many opportunities where we can capitalize on existing stormwater infrastructure projects that will not only reduce flooding, but will also provide an amenity to the public that will not negatively impact the environment. Enhancing an existing project maintenance trail or utilizing naturalistic components can create an environment that is both functional and fun,” said Water Resources Engineering Manager Richard Mulledy.

Wide fat bike tires allow riders to easily transverse different types of terrain including sand while leaving minimal trace of their presence.

The Sand Creek Trail, which parallels Sand Creek along the eastern side of Colorado Springs is master planned to connect from the Pikes Peak Greenway near Circle and I-25 northeast to Woodmen and Marksheffel roads making it 14 miles in length. A trail connection between Platte Avenue and Airport Road will be completed in conjunction with a future stormwater project along the channel. To date, there are approximately nine miles of Sand Creek Trail built and open to the public.

The channel stabilization project at Sand Creek over Platte Avenue, which was substantially completed in October, reduces sediment transport down Sand Creek and ultimately into Fountain Creek improving water quality overall. It is one of the eight projects funded in 2017 through the City’s Inter-governmental Agreement with Pueblo County that identifies, prioritizes and funds 71 stormwater projects designed to enhance public safety, provide improved water detention, improve water quality, and reduce flows and the amount of sediment that flows downstream.

Project cost and timeline

Construction Phase:                                 Winter 2017- October 2018

Total stormwater project cost:               $5.7 million

Federal Grant (FEMA):                   $3.9 million

State Match:                                     $600,000

City Match:                                        $1.2 million