Abstract: Session D  3:55 pm (Back to Session D)
Sand Creek Channel Restoration

Walter Pennington, PE, CFM
RESPEC Consulting
Denver, Colorado

Sand Creek is a major drainageway located on the eastern side of the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Historically, the City of Colorado Springs has not had the funding available to maintain drainageways and protect infrastructure.  As a result, Sand Creek has experienced up to 35-feet of vertical channel degradation over the last 10 years jeopardizing an existing grade control structure that protects a major arterial bridge. 

The City of Colorado Springs contracted with RESPEC Consulting to design channel improvements to a 2500-foot channel reach of Sand Creek that will be sustainable, durable, aesthetically pleasing, and within the project $6.3 million-dollar budget. The Sand Creek Stabilization project had a City priority ranking of 9 out of the top 70 projects and was a high-profile project for the Stormwater Enterprise and the Mayor of Colorado Springs.   In addition to stabilizing the channel bed and banks, the City also wanted to implement trail access and to incorporate a way for “Fat Bikes” to navigate up and down the creek bottom and across and channel grade control structures.  The project was partially funded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

The unique challenges for this project included providing 66,000 cubic yards of fill material to stabilize the degraded channel, design of five rigid grade control structures over fill material up to 30-feet deep, incorporation of five major storm drainage outfalls, protection of a major sanitary sewer paralleling the channel, property acquisition, landscape restoration, constructability, permitting, and incorporating design elements for Fat-bike access. 

The project was designed and permitted on schedule.  Construction is underway with an anticipated completion in the summer of 2018.