EL PASO COUNTY – El Paso County is trying to prevent more erosion at the Fountain Creek corridor near Riverside Mobile Home Park following heavy erosion due to floods in 2013 and 2015.
The whole project started back in 2014 and it’s expected to cost about $2.7 million.
The goal is to secure the creek so it doesn’t shift and to create a space for everyone to use.
If you see Fountain Creek on a calm day, you might not realize the destruction it’s capable of.
But you can certainly see signs of it.
When the channel swells the stream eats away at the different layers of this cliff, even leaving tree roots exposed.
“Any given rain event, a tree could be washed down, diverts water to a new direction and it will cut a new bed channel and this creek bed can move 100 feet, 200 feet in a day,” said Pete Vujcich, an advisor to the Riverside Mobile Home Project working with El Paso County.
Sitting at the top of this cliff is what’s left of the Riverside Mobile Homes.
All 28 homes had to be evacuated over the past four years.
“Getting people out was our number one priority,” said Michael Shaub, Recovery and Mitigation Manager with El Paso County.
Now work is underway to physically remove them.
Even though the area looks destroyed right now, the county wants to convert it into an open space.
“[It will be a] place to hike through as well as potentially (sic) picnic,” Shaub added.
“Those plans will have to be made later on, but the bottom line is no fixed structures can be built on the property.”
But they want to armor the bank first.
“Once that cliff erodes, there’s no putting that cliff back,” Vujcich pointed out.
And find a compromise with mother nature.
“This property has done well for many tenants for decades now,” Shaub explained.
“And it makes sense as nature’s starting to threaten it to return it to nature itself.”
Construction for the bank armor will start in October of this year.