The City of Colorado Springs is beginning construction on a stormwater detention and sediment collection facility in the far northeast corner of Garden of the Gods Park. According to the city, the facility will be constructed to temporarily store floodwaters before letting them downstream at a more controlled flow rate.
The effort comes as a part of the Camp Creek Drainage Improvement project launched in 2013 after the Waldo Canyon Fire burned a large percentage of the Camp Creek watershed.
City engineering manager Mike Chaves says public input has been a key part of the facility's construction.
"People were concerned about how it would look or where it was, so we moved it to the very far north end of the park," he says. "The facility's being built so that it doesn't visually impact people who go to the Garden of the Gods visitors center or when they go in through Gateway Road."
Chaves says the berm will be re-vegetated with native plants with the intention of blending in with the surrounding environment.
According to the city, the facility could help more than 100 properties along the 31 street corridor to be removed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's floodplain. Residents of these properties will no longer be required by federal law to carry flood insurance, but will still have the option of carrying flood insurance at a reduced rate.
The Department of Parks and Recreation and citizens groups including the Pleasant Valley Neighborhood helped the city facilitate and make decisions regarding the construction effort.
The project is funded through FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Program with the help of state and city funding and is set to be finished in December of this year.