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Posted 1/7/2015

Release no. 150107-001

Eileen Williamson


Cynthia Upah

OMAHA, Neb. — Cherry Creek Dam in Aurora, Colorado, is undergoing a Dam Safety Modification Study and an incorporated Environmental Impact Statement being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District.

Two public scoping meetings are scheduled and residents are invited to attend and participate:

  • Thursday, January 22, 6-8 p.m.
  • Cherry Creek High School lecture center
  • 9300 East Union Avenue, Greenwood Village, Colorado
  • Saturday January 24, 10 am – Noon
  • Campus Middle School cafeteria
  • 4785 S. Dayton Street, Englewood, Colorado

The presentation and some handouts will also be available in Spanish.

The study is designed to determine appropriate Federal actions to remediate dam safety concerns at Cherry Creek Dam. A Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS was published in the Federal Register dated December 17, 2013.

USACE engineers will be considering possible structural and non-structural measures to address the risk drivers at Cherry Creek Dam. A variety of structural measures may be considered including raising the dam, modifying the existing spillway, creating a secondary spillway, storing water in upstream structures, adding additional relief wells and subsurface cut-off structures. Non-structural measures may include altering operating procedures, preparing warning systems and evacuation plans and conducting community outreach.

Background: Cherry Creek Dam and Lake is located on Cherry Creek, 11.4 miles upstream of its confluence with the South Platte River, in Aurora, Colorado (southeast Denver metropolitan area).

Previous dam safety studies of Cherry Creek include efforts in 1999 which were later terminated. In 2005, (post-Katrina) USACE began screening its dams (approximately 694 across the U.S.) to determine each dam’s risk level. Cherry Creek Dam received an elevated risk rating primarily because of the dam’s large downstream population and the potential for overtopping or seepage issues during an extremely rare precipitation event (probability of 1/40,000).

The study is being conducted in accordance with USACE policy as described in Engineering Regulation 1110-2-1156 “Safety of Dams – Policy and Procedures,” and the EIS is being prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended.