Bear Creek Dam gate maintenance project plans released

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District
Published July 10, 2024
Engineers and biologists with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, inform members of the public about upcoming plans for a gate maintenance project at Bear Creek Dam in Littleton, Colorado, on June 25, 2024.

Engineers and biologists with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, inform members of the public about upcoming plans for a gate maintenance project at Bear Creek Dam in Littleton, Colorado, on June 25, 2024. Bear Creek Dam is systematically managed to reduce the impacts of flooding to the Denver metro area.

Joseph Maxwell (right), operations project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, informs members of the public about upcoming plans for a gate maintenance project at Bear Creek Dam in Littleton, Colorado, on June 25, 2024.

Joseph Maxwell (right), operations project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, informs members of the public about upcoming plans for a gate maintenance project at Bear Creek Dam in Littleton, Colorado, on June 25, 2024. Bear Creek Dam is systematically managed to reduce the impacts of flooding to the Denver metro area.

DENVER --- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, is planning to replace emergency and service gates at the Bear Creek Dam’s reservoir intake structure in Littleton, Colorado, in December 2024.

While still functional, recent inspections have shown corrosion is not permitting the gates, steel liners and other metal components to seal properly, allowing water to leak while closed. Therefore, maintenance actions need to be taken to ensure the structure remains functional in the future.

“Replacing the gates will ensure that the dam continues to serve the Denver area for a long time,” said Joseph Maxwell, district project manager. “In coordination with the City of Lakewood, the State of Colorado, and other local agencies, our goal is to execute this project as safely and as efficiently as we can while minimizing the impacts to recreators and the environment.”

Bear Creek Dam is systematically managed to reduce the impacts of flooding to the Denver metro area. Rainfall and snowmelt runoff contribute to the inflows seen at the reservoir and without a physical diversion, these inflows fill the reservoir.

Water flows through the intake structure into the tunnel to two emergency gates followed by two service gates which are operated to manage water releases from the dam. Water is allowed to exit the dam when the reservoir rises above the normal pool elevation and the gates are open.

“Bear Creek Dam is an important resource when it comes to flood risk reduction efforts for the Denver metro area,” said Kathryn Seefus, district civil engineer. “Outside of flooding, the project is essential to the local habitat and is a beloved site for local recreators.”

The gates will be replaced systematically, retaining the ability to manage an unseasonable rain or snowmelt event.

USACE, in coordination with the City of Lakewood, Colorado, held an open house meeting about the project on June 25, 2024, at the Red Rocks Baptist Church in Morrison, Colorado. The purpose of the meeting was to provide the public an opportunity to learn about the proposed gate replacement and solicit public input.

To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, an environmental assessment has been prepared to assess potential environmental and social impacts associated with this project. Read the EA for the project at https://dvidshub.net/r/isceg2. Agency and public comments are encouraged and are important to the decision-making process. The comment period closes July 18, 2024. You may submit comments on the EA via email: CENWO-CW-PlanningOutreach@usace.army.mil, or by mailing:

USACE Omaha District

ATTN: Environmental Resources Section

1616 Capitol Ave, Omaha, Nebraska 68102

The Bear Creek Dam and Reservoir in the South Platte River Basin in Colorado was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1968. The authorized purposes of the project are flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife enhancement. The normal regulation of the Bear Creek Reservoir involves responsibilities of USACE and the State of Colorado. The state tracks water rights on Bear Creek and the South Platte River and makes requests for releases to the USACE. These releases supply irrigation, water supply diversions, and normal river flows.

For more information on the project, visit:

https://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/Dam-and-Lake-Projects/Tri-Lakes-Projects/Bear-Creek-Dam/Bear-Creek-Gate-Replacement-Information/

 

 


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