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Stormwater project creates new opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts

COLORADO SPRINGS – It took 2 years, $5 million, and a quarter of a million truck-loads of dirt. But the City of Colorado Springs has now stabilized a rapidly eroding stretch of Sand Creek.

To celebrate the completion of the massive stormwater project, the City teamed up with local bike manufacturer Borealis Fat Bikes for a community ride in the drainage channel. Fat bikes have extra wide tires which provide better traction on sandy or snowy conditions. They are also gentler on trails.

Jerry Cordova, the Stormwater Education Manager for the City of Colorado Springs, said it didn’t cost taxpayers anything extra to incorporate new trails and bike paths into the project. He said maintenance roads used during construction can easily be converted.

“The maintenance road that is existing right now will become part of the parks’ Tier 1 trails system,” Cordova said. “So, whether you’re walking this trail, or if you’re an avid runner, a bicyclist, cyclist a fat biker; you’ll be able to come out and enjoy this amenity.”

It’s only safe to ride in the channel during the winter when the creek is nearly dry. The channel stabilization was one of the more expensive projects on a list of 71 stormwater improvements that Colorado Springs agreed to build as part of a 2016 Intergovernmental Agreement with Pueblo County. Prior to stabilization, the creek lost an average of one-foot sediment from the creek bed per year.

Drop structures and other improvements made as part of the Sand Creek channel stabilization project will allow for seasonal recreational uses like bike riding.
Andy Koen

Andy Koen

Andy is a reporter and anchor for KOAA-TV News 5. He joined the team in 2003.
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