Becker meets with officials on river bank erosion in Hot Sulphur Springs |

Becker meets with officials on river bank erosion in Hot Sulphur Springs

Colorado House Majority Leader Rep. KC Becker and Hot Sulphur Springs Mayor Bob McVay on Aug. 17 stand on Park Street above the area of river bank sluffing along the Colorado River.
Sally DiSciullo/Sky-Hi News |

Prior to her townhall meeting, Colorado House Majority Leader Rep. KC Becker joined Grand County Commissioner Kris Manguso, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials and Hot Sulphur Springs town officials Aug. 17 to examine a major issue with sluffing along the Colorado River bank.

The town of Hot Sulphur Springs has been experiencing river bank erosion along Park Street since April 2016, and bank stabilization will be necessary to prevent further loss, according to town officials.

One of the biggest issues compounding the erosion issue is the town being unable to fund the repairs or engineering assessments required to address the situation. The town of Hot Sulphur Springs has previously applied for and been turned down for several grants to help with amassing those funds.

Engineering is necessary to fully understand the magnitude of such a project and what costs will be to stabilize the section of river bank. In order to maintain safety in the interim, however, CDOT awarded the town $12,500 for concrete jersey barriers to line Park Street, coming from CDOT’s High Risk Rural Roads grant.

Town trustees contacted Grand County officials last summer to begin discussions regarding the site, and representatives with CDOT made a site visit the following August. CDOT provided roto milling, rocks and materials in early September to close off the “Y” section of Park Street.

Utility companies with lines along Park Street have been notified of the issue and the Hot Sulphur Springs Board of Trustees began putting an emergency plan in place with town staff in case Park Street ever had to be closed.

The project would be a two-part repair and will require cooperation from state, county and town.

Grand County is looking at the erosion along Highway 40 in Byers Canyon and Manguso has pursued CDOT to also add the section to its repair list.

If damage occurs to Highway 40 due to river bank loss, Grand County cannot safely provide an alternative route over Parshall Divide, according to officials. The impact of Byers Canyon being closed was experienced first-hand with an incident earlier this summer that interrupted traffic for approximately six hours.

“This is not a problem that will go away, and the town of Hot Sulphur Springs along with Grand County will continue to be proactive in addressing this issue,” said town officials.

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