Partners minimize impacts on Fraser River from winter driving
Hot Sulphur Springs – Sediment created by sand applied to Berthoud Pass to improve winter driving conditions now has a better place to go, thanks to a partnership between agencies on both sides of the divide.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Denver Water, Grand County and Town of Winter Park, along with the U.S. Forest Service, East Grand Water Quality Board, Army Corps of Engineers and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have come together to construct a settling pond on the Fraser River on the east side of U.S. Highway 40 near the entrance of the Mary Jane ski area.
The project began in August. Crews have been constructing a settling pond in Denver Water’s existing diversion facility, building an access road and establishing a mitigation pond – a new wetland area – downstream of the project. The purpose of the settling pond is to trap and remove sediment that enters the Fraser River below Berthoud Pass. This project builds on previous efforts funded by a Colorado Nonpoint Source Program grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which involved an initial construction phase years ago and helped pay for this new design.
The project is funded through multiple partners. Led by president Kirk Klancke beginning in 2002, the East Grand Water Quality Board acquired a grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board in 2008 for $187,900 to construct the settling pond. Grand County is administering the grant and contributing $45,000 plus one-third of the cost of all change orders. In addition, CDOT is contributing $175,000 toward project engineering and construction. As part of the enhancements recently agreed to in the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, Denver Water has contributed $90,000 toward construction, is managing the project, and is allowing the construction of the settlement pond within its Fraser River diversion facility.
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The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Colorado Highway 125 in Grand County while crews work to clear the route of mud, debris and snagged trees piled up on various bridges and guardrails.