Posted: Mar 20, 2013 9:33 PM by Annie Snead
It's been years in the making, with plenty of road blocks in the mix.
Finally, a key component of the massive southern delivery water system project is under construction.
Ground was broken Wednesday on the treatment plant for the SDS, part of a massive construction project for Southern Colorado.
"This is huge for us in Colorado Springs, this is twenty years of planning and study and hard work by so so many people, elected officials staff members community members to get us to where we are right now," said Jerry Forte, CEO Colorado Springs Utilities.
And construction of the nearly one billion dollar project means millions of dollars for the local economy.
"At the peak in 2014 we estimated over 750 jobs for local area folks in Colorado Springs as we build this project," said Forte.
When it's complete, the pipeline project will deliver water from the Pueblo reservoir, providing this critical resource to Colorado Springs for decades to come.
"We're in the middle of one of the most severe droughts we've seen in recorded history so by having this project when it's online it will help us meet the needs of our community even during drought conditions," said Gary Bostrom, Chief Water Services Officer for Colorado Springs Utilities.
This project couldn't happen without the help of Pueblo, which agreed to the water flow program.
Colorado Springs already owns the water rights from agreements signed decades ago, SDS guarantees it's delivery north.
"People travel I-25 either to Pueblo or to the Springs, we have a lot in common and so by having this water supply up here I believe it benefits all of Southern Colorado," said Bostrom.
The plant will be under construction until 2016.
To date, more than 200 companies in Colorado have participated in the planning and construction of the SDS.