Construction of a new stormwater detention facility is set to begin next week at Garden of the Gods Park. The goal is to significantly reduce the flooding risk along Camp Creek, which currently flows through the park and to the median of 31st Street in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood.
The Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012 burned much of the Camp Creek watershed, which has resulted in larger and more frequent water flows. The city, in turn, launched the Camp Creek Drainage Improvement project and this new flood mitigation facility is a key element of that.
Mike Chaves, an engineering manager with Colorado Springs said, “We’re going to put a dam across the valley that’ll hold water temporarily and release it at a controlled rate so it protects Garden of the Gods and also reduces the flows through the Pleasant Valley neighborhood.”
Once complete, about 110 properties along the 31st Street corridor can be removed from FEMA’s regulatory floodplain, giving homeowners the option to carry flood insurance at a reduced rate, or not at all.
The city mentioned that preserving the park’s iconic view is essential to the project’s success. The dam will be covered with soil along with native grasses and shrubs similar to the existing vegetation to help it blend in.