By Bridget Walsh, CPFAN Member
The city of Denver wants to install one large part of a huge, industrial, storm water drain, Platte to Park Hill (P2PH), in historic .City Park Golf Course (CPGC) The drain is designed to keep the controversial expansion and lowering of Highway I 70 , from flooding. It could also save the developers around the Western Stock Show much of the cost of doing their own water mitigation. P2PH could also facilitate the construction of Olympic Village 2026, a plan that seems to have been hatched by Denver elites, the Mayor and the Governor. Has anyone asked you?
Both the highway expansion and the drain are destructive, old fashioned infrastructure “solutions” that many say, will not serve Denver residents well as we face new age challenges. Both of these projects, I 70 and the drain, seem to be robbing Colorado taxpayers of billions of dollars that are sorely needed all over Colorado, for progressive, green solutions to real challenges such as climate change, water conservation, hotter temperatures, water wars, severe weather, dirty air, soil and water, etc.
Is there an army of consultants, contractors, financiers, politicians and their “associates” and international cartels who are standing by, like hungry wolves , to make off with what is left of Denver’s treasury… with no public vote and no meaningful input on any of these projects? Who will end up holding the bag when things go wrong? Who will profit from these proposed Public Private Partnerships (P3)? Are Denver and Colorado politicians selling Colorado and Denver’s infrastructure and future off to the “highest” bidders?
Think of the A Train to the Denver Airport and cost overruns. Think of the VA hospital and the huge cost overruns. Think of Denver Airport and the shoddy baggage fiasco and the cost overruns. Think of the 50 year lease with the international cartel on Highway 36. Are the same players waiting in line to get a slice of CPGC, our neighborhoods or the polluting Highway I 70 expansion? Has anyone checked out their track record .. like in Texas where it looks like a P3 is declaring bankruptcy just a few years after a deal was struck on highway construction/ maintenance/ long term lease?
Do our city Fathers want to sacrifice our beautiful, historic ,public open space, City Park Golf Course(CPGC) , a perfect, natural storm water mitigation system….. to install an old fashioned, industrial sump to collect and hold toxic storm water and trash for up to 8 hours? That polluted water will have travelled over almost 10 miles of filthy urban hardscape.. before it gets to CPGC and then it will rush out to an open, 1 mile long ditch in the Cole neighborhood, then out to the Globeville outfall and into the already polluted , South Platte River. Does that sound like a good plan for Denver’s future? Shouldn’t we have a plan to conserve precious rain water in the ground where it would be cleaned naturally and stored for our future use in aquifers?
The drain components in Cole and Globeville are being carved out of the Vazquez/ I 70 Superfund Site in the most toxic zip code in the USA, 80216. No public input needed becasue the EPA Region 8, offered Denver the option of doing a Time Critical Removal Action (TCRA) that is usually reserved for train wrecks and oil spills when there is no time for public input in the process. TCRA’s usually take no more then 6 months.
The EPA Region 8, gave Denver carte blanche to dig, even though 6 months stretched into 16 months and the only “emergency” was Denver and CDOTS relentless, excessive and some would say careless, construction schedule. The big digs in Cole and Globeville are NOT remediation of the Superfund site; they are not “fixing” the pollution. The EPA just gave Denver permission to dig up the polluted dirt and water to install their drain, taking scores of homes and small businesses along with them. Will the South Platte river bring ever more polluted water to those people who live downstream. What’s the rush? Olympic “gold”?
Our engineers fear that the project could bring flooding to a park and to neighborhoods that have not experienced significant flooding in the past. The drain will only protect new development in north Denver and I 70. We are told that this drain will put Globeville back in the flood plain. Will poor people have to buy expensive flood insurance or move out of the way of the massive gentrification that is taking place in Denver?
The Outfall is being built on a superfund landfill site. Our engineers are worried about the chances of epic failure at the outfall. Also, ground water would be protected from the toxic storm water, by a plastic liner. We have read, that these liners are prone to leaking and failure. What would a failure of the outfall, built in a superfund land fill site, look like? Who would be responsible for the billions it could cost to clean up such a disaster?
There are much better , more progressive solutions to our transportation needs and far better ways to conserve and preserve our precious water that falls from the sky. If the Drain goes forward, it will mean that the historic public course will be closed for 2+ years, fenced off curb to curb. It will deprive 165+ species of wild life of essential habitat. Over 250 big trees will be chopped down and 50+ acres of soil, full of trillions and trillions of microbial communities that are essential to human , animal and plant life on earth, will be turned to dirt as it is compressed , deprived of oxygen and water…..and moved to the top of the course where it will kill more trees and vegetation.
Denver has promised golfers a PGA championship course. On less than 130 acres? With room taken out for programs and the new EVENT center and parking lot? CPGC is affordable. Who will be able to afford to play on the new PGA course?
Denver wants to knock down the beloved CPGC Club House that was built in 2001, in order to build a new, big EVENT center and parking lot right across from the Denver Zoo on 23rd St. The Denver Zoo is another old style institution whose time is coming to an end. We now know that keeping animals in little dioramas, a concept left over from the Edwardian age ,is not only unhealthy for the animals but totally unnecessary as technology has given us tools like virtual reality, drones and web cams where we can see the animals in more natural surroundings, out of their boxes, so to speak.
Wake up Denver . It’s not 1964 any more!
The law suit is scheduled to go to trial on August 21, 2017. We hope that you will be there.
The city has asked the judge, for a second time, to dismiss the law suit before it goes to trial.
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