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Colorado Springs quarry passes critical water test

Posted at 12:20 PM, Oct 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-30 20:20:00-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Six months after a day of significant rainfall, the PikeView Quarry has passed a critical test, proving years of work to stabilize the mountain from a landslide have worked.

A storm in May of this year measured seven inches of precipitation in just one day. Historically, water making its way through the mountain reached the quarry about six months later and caused a landslide. This happened in 2008 and again in 2018.

"We had a major rainfall this May; seven inches up here. In comparison, Colorado Springs probably averages 15 inches a year. We got seven inches in one day. That water is in the mountain. It's coming through here. And it's so far being released back to the stream," Jerry Schnabel told News 5 earlier this year.

Despite that heavy rainfall in the Spring, throughout the entire month of October the mountain has held, proving that the water was successfully channeled through engineered culverts and into the Douglas Watershed.

Schnabel, who oversees the reclamation project, can tell whether the land is shifting using a digital tool. Sixteen prisms that are placed throughout the quarry are monitored by a Leica surveying monitor that sends a digital update if there is any movement more than a tenth of a foot.

The quarry is in its final stage of reclamation. The 'scar' as it has come to be known is now covered with topsoil and project engineers are working with the Department of Forestry to replant native trees, shrubs, and grasses in a natural pattern in hopes they'll blend into the natural landscape. The reclamation is being privately funded by the Gidwitz family who have owned the quarry since the early 1970s.

After seeding and replanting, next comes a year of observation to ensure no other movement or unforeseen issues develop before the family's company, Riverbend Industries, donates the quarry to the City of Colorado Springs. A city parks spokesman has told News 5 at that point, the city will likely hire a third-party contractor to inspect the reclamation and at that point, the mayor will decide whether to accept the donation of the land. Public meetings will determine what it will be in the future. A mountain bike park has been floated as a possibility.

Read our full story on the quarry here.

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