Timbers Creek Project

The High Prairie Farms Metro District (HPFMD) is collaborating with Douglas County and the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD) to provide engineering and design services for the construction drainage improvements on Timbers Creek.
 
Timbers Creek is a major drainage-way and recreational corridor of the Timbers subdivision that starts just east of the intersection of Pinery Parkway and Democrat Road and continues west for approximately two miles until it empties into Bayou Gulch just south of the Colorado Horse Park (CHP).
 
During the development of the Timbers, drainage improvements were constructed along the creek and throughout the development to accommodate new roads, housing construction and other improvements. These early improvements, built nearly 25-years ago, included concrete drop-structures, culverts and dozens of detention ponds as well as a concrete walking trail. These facilities were constructed according to the engineering standards and requirements at that time and accounted for increased runoff from development. Over the years and many significant storms, some of these drainage facilities have begun to deteriorate and show their age despite District maintenance efforts. Some ponds have been partially filled with sediment and storm debris. Drop structures meant to slow storm flows, have been heavily eroded and in some cases failed. Culverts have been partially filled with sediment and some banks along the creek have collapsed into the channel.
 
Housing construction continues today as the development approaches full buildout adding more homes, streets and sidewalks. The additional construction will create more impervious surfaces adding more water and storm runoff to the drainages including Timbers Creek. Although the new development is also adding necessary infrastructure including the large regional detention pond near Pinery Parkway and Democrat Road, the western portion of Timbers Creek and drainage basin continues to age. Recent heavy storms have caused significant damage and debris accumulation. Heavy erosion and large amounts of sediment have changed the character of the creek over time. Trees have been lost, sidewalks have been inundated, covered with sand and debris and the stream banks eroded as the channel evolves regardless of manmade constraints.
 
Within the past few years the Metro District has had to spend more and more time and money to try to keep up with the effects of storms and erosion issues. It became apparent that the drainage problems required more than just maintenance and repairs. In 2015 the District approached Douglas County for assistance in identifying and prioritizing drainage fixes to Timbers Creek. Since a portion of the creek fell within the purview of the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UD), they were also consulted. It was agreed that many drainage deficiencies existed and that a new engineering study was needed to evaluate and prioritize specific improvements and estimate costs. Funding for the engineering and construction was discussed and Timbers Creek was added to a long list of needy County and Urban Drainage projects. In 2017 the County and UD allocated funds for engineering. The Metro District also agreed to contribute bringing the combined total to just under $1 million. Later that year a request for proposals was advertised and an engineering consultant was selected.
 
Engineering and data collection began in 2018 and identified serious deficiencies along the entire length of Timbers Creek stretching from Democrat Road west to the Colorado Horse Park, a distance of about 10,000 feet. Preliminary engineering estimated construction costs for drainage improvements to be $7-$10 million. Rather than wait for additional funding to complete the entire length of the creek, the stakeholder team directed the consultant to identify and prioritize two or three locations for a construction project in 2019. Currently two locations are being considered: a segment between Fox Sparrow Rd. and the Horse Park, and the other, a section just below Pinery Parkway near Songbird Way. Evaluation of these two locations are continuing and a decision should be made by June for work to be done this year (2019).