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2525 13th Street, Suite 203 • Boulder, Colorado 80304 • Tel: 303.441.3900 • Fax: 303.441.4594
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 471 • Boulder, Colorado 80306 • Boulder County
To: Rebecca Tyer
Coordinator, St. Vrain Creek Coalition
President, St. Vrain Creek Coalition Board of Directors
From: Andrew Barth
Boulder County Transportation
Re: Comments to Longmont Dam Road, 90% Completion Phase Drawings
Date: October 6, 2015
Thank you for your comments and questions regarding the 90% Completion Phase Drawings for Longmont Dam Road. Please see below for the Boulder County Transportation Department response. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions.
1. Boating Access to the Creek
Previous to the flood of September 2013, there were three places along Longmont Dam Road/CR 808 that boaters accessed North St. Vrain Creek:
• City of Longmont property on the west end
• Hanley property (private resident) in the middle
• County property near the “nuclear bridge” on the east end
None of these locations were installed or formally-maintained by the county, city or private owner as a legal point from where to access the water. The unauthorized access points were created over time by recreational boaters and other people visiting the area.
After the flood, these three locations were significantly altered by high-water volumes seen coming down the creek from Buttonrock Reservoir, which destroyed the informal ramps that had been created. Boulder County Transportation is currently designing the permanent repairs to Longmont Dam Road and has been asked if it is possible to replace/reconstruct water access points along the road.
At this time, after discussing roadway plans with private property owners along the road, the county has learned that no new access points will be permitted by private owners from the areas of land that they own.
Other opportunities to install public, formal creek access points may be pursued with the City of Longmont and/or Boulder County’s Parks and Open Space (POS). It is recommended that the Saint Vrain Creek Coalition (SVCC) and other interested parties contact these two entities regarding the feasibility and requirements of considering formal access points at these locations.
In addition, Boulder County has initiated initial conversations about the potential for recreational opportunities on future “buy-out” properties. These conversations are in the preliminary stages and no decisions have been made. In addition, all “buy-out” properties will be subject to the land management requirements of the program.
The design of the road will not preclude possible future placement of creek access points should the coalition be able to negotiate for their construction in the future.
2. Root Balls
No root balls will be placed in the creek as part of the road reconstruction process. It is undetermined whether this stabilization technique will be used as part of the N. St. Vrain Creek restoration process. There will be opportunities to provide feedback on the draft design of this restoration project at the October 14th SVCC Advisory Council Meeting.
3. Preservation of Natural Features of Creek Bed
The reconstruction of Longmont Dam Road will not include in-stream restoration of the creek except as needed to protect the road. The N. St. Vrain Creek Restoration project will evaluate and address the natural features of the creek bed to best promote stream stability and aquatic habitat. Boulder County has no plans to remove materials from the creek bed and use them in the reconstruction of the road. This specification will be added to the contract so that contractors are aware that material for the road cannot come from the creek.
4. Low Private Access Bridges
The SVCC and recreational boating community has asked if the county can have private property owners who are rebuilding private access bridges from Longmont Dam Road over the N St. Vrain Creek onto their private property make them higher to better facilitate the safe passage of boaters passing underneath the structures. This is not currently a requirement for obtaining a permit and at this point, Boulder County does not intend to make changes to bridge requirements for this purpose as our focus is ensuring residents are able to restore access to their homes while meeting current requirements.
In order to allow for safe entrance and exit from the creek Boulder County evaluated the possibility of constructing access ramps near bridges where overhead clearance may be a concern and where Boulder County has prescriptive right-of-way and the authority to do so. Based on feedback from recreation stakeholders, it was determined that this option did not meet the needs of the boating community and is therefore not included in the construction plans.
Again, we appreciate your input and we look forward to working with you in the future.
Cindy Domenico County Commissioner
Deb Gardner County Commissioner
Elise Jones County Commissioner
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