SDS Wraps Up Another Successful Year
The Southern Delivery System has made tremendous progress in 2014. To date, more than 48 miles of the 50-mile pipeline has been installed, and the SDS program remains on schedule and under budget. As the team prepares for a busy 2015, here’s a recap of key achievements this year.
Fountain Creek Improvement Project Complete
On Oct. 7, the SDS team celebrated completion of an environmental improvement project along Fountain Creek. The $4.2 million improvement project – covering 28 acres on Clear Spring Ranch, south of Fountain – is designed to minimize future erosion and sedimentation on the creek. As part of this required mitigation, crews restored the creek banks to a more natural pattern, helping slow water flow through this stretch during storms and reducing erosion and sediment being carried downstream. Six new acres of wetlands were created that now provide habitat for area wildlife which can be viewed from an adjacent trail that is currently in progress. This project could serve as a model for future improvements to other areas along the creek, and it represents one of many
regional commitments that Colorado Springs Utilities has fulfilled as we construct SDS.
Tunnel Boring Complete
On Nov. 8, crews tunneling under I-25, two nearby railroad tracks, and Fountain Creek completed the mile-long tunnel across the area. The 105-inch-diameter boring machine drilled the tunnel through rock approximately 85 feet below the surface. This construction method avoids traffic impacts to area roads, protects environmentally sensitive areas along Fountain Creek, and limits disturbances to area property owners. The tunnel completion marked a significant milestone for SDS, as it connects the pipeline across the project’s most challenging terrain. Pipe installation through the tunnel began in mid-December and is expected to continue through the first quarter of 2015.
Facility Construction Continues
The SDS water treatment plant and three pump stations achieved significant progress through 2014 as the buildings at the sites are taking shape. One of the most visible elements at the sites was construction of the massive concrete storage tanks. The largest tank is part of the new water treatment plant and will be able to hold 10 million gallons of water. Several local contractors contributed to building the tank. To learn more about contractors involved in the unique construction and see the tank progress click here. The treatment plant is more than 65 percent complete, and the pump stations are more than 52 percent complete. A key focus in 2015 will be completion of these facilities and preparation for testing, start-up and commissioning.
Local Businesses and Workers Benefitting
As construction proceeds on SDS, it is exciting to see many local businesses and workers involved in making the project a reality. Of the $575 million in SDS spending through Sept. 2014, $489 million benefitted businesses in Colorado and more than $300 million benefitted businesses in southern Colorado.
The SDS project remains on schedule to deliver water in early 2016. For the latest updates, a monthly progress report is available online at www.SDSWater.org.