COLORADO SPRINGS — There is a multi-million dollar project Colorado Springs planners do not want you to see. "The contouring and shaping of the final design was such that it would blend in," said Colorado Springs Engineering Manager, Mike Chaves. Final touches to the 17-acre flood mitigation dam at Garden of the Gods are meant to meld function into the natural setting of the iconic park.
The is a protection against potential flash flooding off the Waldo Canyon Fire burn scar. Rushing water coming out of Queen’s Canyon above Garden of the Gods could devastate neighborhoods downstream. It took years to develop a workable plan, determine a location and gather funding for the mitigation project.
When the project got underway it created an attention getting pit at the north end of Garden of the Gods. "I think some people didn't know about the project, came by and saw it, were very shocked and concerned."
A dam went in and is now covered with earth. All parts of the project have been graded so slopes and angles blend with surroundings.
Landscape contractors are on site doing final work. "Native plants, plants that are already in the park,” said Chaves. With recent rain storms the whole project is turning green with recently seeded grasses, as well as, transplanted bushes and trees. "I think after a couple of seasons it's going to be filled in nicely,” said Chaves, “I think people who may not know about the project may never even know that it was done." Time will tell.