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Old 12-02-2013   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Post Flood Recovery Projects

After the floods, several river corridor highways have been significantly damaged, and temp repairs have been installed to get roads open. My understanding is that many repairs are temp repairs, and that long term fixes will be take place over the next two years.

At this point, I doubt that cdot and project contractors have gotten much input from recreational river users. There are major issues for future permanent road construction projects. One issue is that road construction can alter the river channel. Another issue is that debris from the flood like gaurd rails, bridges, etc could negatively impact the rivers as well.

I'd like to get a list of the issues that the roads next to popular river corridors have to be able to give some feedback to CDOT and the project contractors as they plan for thier long term projects.

As an example... for SSV I noted...
-current temp road repair scree slope chokes off river in a couple of points
-Metal bridge washed into river channel needs to be removed.
-River rock dug out and used for temporary fill has left a river channel too shallow and wide to float, when it was floatable before.

I'd like to hear what other issues there might be in boulder canyon, the highway along NSV, the big T etc. If you are a local close to any of these runs and you have checked out the post flood damage and see things that really need to be worked, please post here or PM me.

I'm not sure if any of the comments or recommendtions will be taken into consideration, but if we say nothing, I doubt recreational interests will be considered at all.


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Old 12-02-2013   #2
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
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The problem Ian is the priority isn't recreation at this point. It's rebuilding the infustructure leave em alone an let them work I'm sure there are people aware of the situation. Go play somewhere else..

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Old 12-03-2013   #3
Denver, Colorado
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Thanks for the useless comments Mike. Good to know that you can sit hundreds of miles away and suggest that local paddlers should do nothing to help shape the future of our flood ravaged river corridors. Talking useless shit on the internet is obviously your strong suit.

Meanwhile, AW, myself, and local paddlers are actively working to advocate for responsible reconstruction of flood damaged river corridors. The people that understand what's going on realize that we have a huge opportunity here.

If you want to take positive action to help out with this, contact me. AW is working on this, and they need lots of help. Its a huge task that has major implications for our rivers future.

If you have useless negative comments like Mike. PM him. He loves that shit.
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Old 12-03-2013   #4
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BZN, Montana
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Certainly never hurts to raise your voice about potential concerns. Paddlers are an impacted group and the rebuilding process won't be short I imagine. Plenty of time to get your voice heard. CDOT will prioritize as they see fit. It may be worthwhile to push more on the reconstructive end where they will likely blast new rock or dredge as you mentioned for fill rock. I find it somewhat hard to believe CDOT would be interested in dredging deep channels or pulling debris out of the river. I'm sure you know dialogue can go a long way if you can get it started. Thanks for taking on the work Ian.
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Old 12-03-2013   #5
Join Date: Apr 2006
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He did mention the bridge in the water which is a hazard they should be able to fix so I agree that some non-natural flood should be a priority to ensure safety next season. Maybe we could focus on these kinds of things (rebar, road debris, etc)

It is hard to say that the river bed itself needs to be changed (being too wide to paddle). Most of our front range runs aren't exactly natural river beds anyway and trying to shape them likely isn't a priority for Cdot unless something they created could potentially harm people.
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Old 12-03-2013   #6
Denver, Colorado
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i removed my comment. i dont care enough to argue. if it gets quoted, so be it. I removed it
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Old 12-03-2013   #7
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Boulder, Colorado
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Thanks for removing your comment. The buzz really only has room for one douche bag at a time and it's quite a bit easier when there's a well-established douche bag; it simply makes it much easier to skip over those posts.

I figure this is a good idea. Recreational use is obviously not going to be CDOT’s top priority, but it may be that while they have all the equipment and personnel out there it won't be much of a difference in effort to make a repair boater friendly vs. not.

SSV and NSV are an important part of the Lyons Games, which has become a big event for the city. The city & county do have a vested interest in recreation in this area. Not only that, but Front Range creeks see recreational traffic from the public whether they should be in there or not (esp Boulder Creek) and there are public safety issues to consider.

I did drive by the SSV run the other day with waning light. I knew there was a lot of water that moved through there, but the extent of the flooding was even more than I'd expected. They have construction equipment parked in the canyon ever 1/4 mile or so and have done extensive work already shoring up the creekside of the road. The run is going to be a lot different, and I agree that there are several spots that look questionable with respect to runability.

I would guess that the Big Thompson & NSV may have some similar conditions but haven’t looked. Surely people have been up Boulder Canyon – are there any new hazards in the upper stretch?
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Old 12-03-2013   #8
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Lyons, Colorado
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Obviously without making your voice heard then it will never even be a consideration.
I'm and willing to put in tons of effort and time on this. It will take more than a few however.
Thanks for the forward thinking Ian.

Can we have some kind of thread or page dedicated to this which updates the people interested in helping. A place where we can get live AW updates. Possibly invite the CDOT rep, etc etc.
Im not a face booker but can create a page if you all feel this is the best way to move forward.
It will also likely keep the stupid negative Bullsh!t from inhibiting the progress...........
Go Dawgs!!!
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Old 12-03-2013   #9
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river zen, Colorado
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I have driven both the Big T and NSV. In looking at the conditions of the river corridor I would be surprised if they let river users on either of these rivers or if they will limit use to certain sections. There is still a lot of work to be done very close to the river. There are houses hanging off the banks on the Big T. Many LARGE/MASSIVE trees in the NSV. It's gonna take more than a couple guys and a chain saw to remove some of these. I would imagine at some point they will demo the houses that are half gone and hanging off the banks of the Big T. Looking at the damage it appears that large "pipes" need to be replaced on both sections of river. I know the one on NSV is the water supply for the city of longmont coming from button rock res. I also saw a lrg pipe that was destroyed in the big t. It might be the supply for the power station at the mouth of the canyon or for one of the diversion dams but I don't know for sure.

Ian if you have contacts at CDOT Can you find out if they plan on closing any sections of river while completing their work?

Boulder creek above 4mile was not really affected. Most of the damage is from 4mile down. The elephant buttress section has numerous pieces of guard rail in the river and a large tree that is partly buried by the debris that flowed off the side of the mtn.

In conclusion I would guess CDOT is going to do little to remove "natural" debris aka trees and rocks. I would hope that they at least remove the guard rail and other unnatural debris in the river. But unless you start the conversation with CDOT you never know.

Keep up the good work Ian.
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Old 12-03-2013   #10
Denver, Colorado
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Thanks for the update on the big T and NSV. The situation there sounds more dire than SSV. SSV could be paddled now if there was water, albeit with some log portages.

The CDOT PR person got back to me today. They are in the process of forming design teams for each of the major projects (7, 34, 36 etc), and will be naming project managers shortly. Once the project managers are on board, we can start the communication with them to look at the scope of the project and see whats in/out.

CDOT noted that they have no precedent for this type of massive scale work and to an extent they are figuring it out as they go. CDOT said that they have had a lot of stakeholders to deal with thus far between national parks, water agencies, local towns and counties etc. The CDOT rep was not aware of any other recreational groups wanting to get into the process as of yet.

Good news is that we are getting in at the right time. Once the design is done and they move into construction, the boat has left the dock and they won't accept any changes (been there before).

My plan from here is to engage CDOT project engineers as they get named and ask the questions we are bringing up here. What is the scope, what is the schedule, what will be closed / for how long, etc.

It would be really nice to get some town / county political officials on our side with this.

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