USACE signs historic project partnership agreement with City and County of Denver

USACE Omaha District
Published June 1, 2023
Mayor Hancock and Assistant Secretary of the Army Mr. Michael Connor sign the SPRT waterway restoration agreement. Senator Bennett, Congresswoman DeGette, Senator Hickenlooper and Colonel Mark Himes look on.

Mayor Hancock and Assistant Secretary of the Army Mr. Michael Connor sign the SPRT waterway restoration agreement. Senator Bennett, Congresswoman DeGette, Senator Hickenlooper and Colonel Mark Himes look on.

Mayor Hancock, Assistant Secretary of the Army Mr. Michael Conner, and Colonel Mark Himes pose at the Denver SPRT Waterway Restoration Signing Event.

Mayor Hancock, Assistant Secretary of the Army Mr. Michael Conner, and Colonel Mark Himes pose at the Denver SPRT Waterway Restoration Signing Event.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock signs the Public Partnership Agreement for the South Platt River Tributary Waterway Restoration Project in Denver, CO.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock signs the Public Partnership Agreement for the South Platt River Tributary Waterway Restoration Project in Denver, CO.

Congresswoman Diana DeGette addresses the crowd at the South Platt River Tributary Waterway Restoration Project Partnership Agreement signing in Denver, Col.

Congresswoman Diana DeGette addresses the crowd at the South Platt River Tributary Waterway Restoration Project Partnership Agreement signing in Denver, Col.

Colorado Senator John Hicklooper addresses the crowd at the South Platt River Tributary Waterway Restoration Project Partnership Agreement signing event.

Colorado Senator John Hicklooper addresses the crowd at the South Platt River Tributary Waterway Restoration Project Partnership Agreement signing event.

On May 8, 2023, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Michael Connor, and Denver Mayor, Michael B. Hancock formally signed a partnership and historic intergovernmental agreement that will result in a multi-million-dollar investment, including Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funds for the South Platte River and Tributaries Project (SPRT) in Adams and Denver Counties in Colorado.

The signing ceremony celebrated the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City and County of Denver entering a project partnership agreement that outlines funding, engineering, and construction efforts that will be under-taken to provide flood risk management, ecosystem restoration and recreation on Denver area waterways—specifically, the South Platte River and the Weir Gulch and Harvard Gulch tributaries.

The project was authorized under Section 401(4) of the 2020 Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) at a cost of $550 million. The BIL appropriated nearly $350 million of federal funds for the program in March 2022.

Participation in the USACE Civil Works Public Private Partnership (P3) Pilot Program looks to accelerate the delivery of the project by leveraging appropriations while optimizing local participation and promoting risk sharing in project delivery. The SPRT is currently one of four pilot projects in the country, and the City and County of Denver (CCD), as the non-federal sponsor, has been assigned as the lead in project delivery.

From the more than 600 projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), Assistant Secretary of the Army, Michael Conner extolled how “This project is easily within the top five, because it demonstrates the goals of the Army Civil Works Programs for infrastructure investments proceeding now and in the future. “

Coined by the CCD as the Waterway Resiliency Program, the project goals will integrate well into Denver’s One Water Vision for the South Platte River, Weir Gulch, and Harvard Gulch. The project will generate an estimated annual average of 87 habitat units by restoring or connecting approximately 450 acres of riparian, wetland, and aquatic habitats. It will also help mitigate existing flood risk for over 500 homes, structures, and businesses across the project area – especially within the Weir Gulch area, one of the city’s most vulnerable and historically underserved community. In addition, the project will provide ancillary recreational benefits through additional trails, access points and park-based recreation features.

“This partnership agreement, we are signing today, represents a commitment to the next generation, a pledge to take care of our community,” Mayor Hancock said.

During the event, Col. Mark Himes, Omaha District Commander expressed his gratitude for the district to be part of such a unique, once-in-a-lifetime project that creates an enduring partnership and offers engineering innovation that will enhance the ecosystem and overall well-being of the community.

“The signing of this agreement today means that we can get to work,” Himes said. “The Omaha District is honored to call the City and County of Denver a long-term partner. The strength of this partnership will increase as we move forward to restore and improve this great local resource.”

For additional information on the agreement, visit: https://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Planning/Project-Agreements/


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