OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in cooperation with the city and county of Denver, will hold three public meetings to gather input on the recently released Environmental Impact Statement for the Denver Urban Waterways Feasibility Study. The purpose of the study is to identify ecosystem restoration and flood risk management opportunities along critical areas of the South Platte River from 6th Avenue to 58th Avenue and flood-prone areas of the Harvard Gulch and Weir Gulch communities.
The meetings will take place at the following locations:
· July 31, Weir Gulch Reach – Barnum Recreation Center, 360 Hooker Street, Denver
· August 1, South Platte River Reach – REI (3rd Floor), 1416 Platte Street, Denver
· August 2, Harvard Gulch Reach – Porter Hospital (Grand Mesa Conference Room, 2nd Floor), 2525 S. Downing Street, Denver
The public meetings will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with a brief opening presentation beginning at 6:00 p.m. followed by an open house.
“During the open house period, the Corps and the City and County of Denver will answer questions the public may have about the study and gather their input on the draft Environmental Impact Statement which evaluates potential effects of restoring the ecosystem along the South Platte River and implementing flood risk management solutions along Weir Gulch and Harvard Gulch,” said Jeff Bohlken, project manager with the Corps of Engineers.
The draft Environmental Impact Statement can be downloaded from http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Planning/Project-Reports/. Hard copies are also available at the following locations:
· Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library – 1498 N. Irving Street
· Harvard Gulch Rec Center – 550 E Iliff Avenue
· Barnum Recreation Center – 360 Hooker Drive
Input on the study may be submitted at the public meetings or mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District; CENWO-PMA-A; ATTN: Denver Waterways Feasibility Study Project Manager; 1616 Capitol Avenue; Omaha, NE 68102-4901. UPDATE: The comment period has been extended. Comments must now be received on or before August 28, 2018.
Visit http://www.denverwaterways.com/ for study updates.
BACKGROUND: Urban growth in Denver has negatively impacted the ecosystem surrounding the South Platte River and its tributaries, specifically Harvard Gulch and Weir Gulch. Migratory birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other species rely on riparian corridors and wetland habitat, both of which have been lost with the channelization of these waterways and increased development to include buildings, pavement and turf. Numerous structures, including a hospital access route, major highways, roads and railroads, are also located in flood-prone areas of Harvard Gulch and Weir Gulch.
In 2000, Congress provided approval for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study ecosystem and flood risk issues along the South Platte River in Arapahoe and Adams Counties. Congress added Denver County to the study authorization in 2008, and the reconnaissance study was completed by the Corps in 2010. The results of that study indicated federal interest in pursuing a comprehensive feasibility study with the city and county of Denver as the cost-share sponsor.