COLORADO SPRINGS — The 20-year stormwater system improvement plan in Colorado Springs is at a major milestone.
The completion of the North Douglas Creek stormwater drainage is the last project from a list created by the EPA during an audit back in 2013.
“Building large structures to dissipate the energy, we're restoring the channel, we'll be planting some more vegetation, trying to get some areas that have some natural feel to it. But protecting public property, private property, and utilities,” said Colorado Springs Stormwater Enterprise Manager, Richard Mulledy.
The $4.6 million dollar North Douglas Creek project is one of more than 70 improvements that will happen over a 20 year timeline.
After the EPA audit in 2013, more stormwater issues were identified by the state and neighboring downstream communities like Pueblo.
Mayor John Suthers inherited the stormwater issues when he took office in 2015.
“It was a big mess, quite frankly,” said Suthers
When voters approved ballot question 2A it made more money available to fix the city’s outdated and failing stormwater infrastructure.
“We knew overall it's going to cost us about a half a billion dollars, “ said Suthers, “But it could have been a lot worse. Had we not gotten the cooperation of the voters, Lord knows what in the long run this would have cost us in terms of legal problems.”
Completion of the North Douglas Creek drainage is a significant point on the timeline.
“We're about a quarter of the way through that from a completion standpoint, and then about another 25% that's either in construction or in design,” said Mulledy, “So we're, we're getting close to halfway down on that.”
A lot of work is complete with ten plus years of work to go.
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