Colorado announces dam safety improvements at Beaver Creek Reservoir

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will begin a two-year repair project to increase dam safety at Beaver Creek Reservoir this summer, allowing its 4,400-acre-foot reservoir to be filled again by mid-2015.

The reservoir is an important component in the overall water management system in the San Luis Valley, and its water is used for irrigation, recreation and wildlife habitat.

It has been drawn down to about half its capacity since problems with the 100-year old dam structure were discovered in 2010, the agency said.

“Colorado Parks and Wildlife works closely with other water entities throughout the valley, and Beaver Creek Reservoir is an important link in the overall system,” wildlife manager Rick Basagoitia said.

The US$15 million project will be conducted in two stages, with the first beginning in July. This phase will see the dam’s spillway rebuilt. Work is expected to be complete in December.

Next, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it will build a new abutment support for the dam and make improvements to the outlet tunnel. This portion of the rehabilitation is expected to begin in April 2014 and be complete by the end of that year.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is also accepting public comment on the dam repair plan, which can be made electronically here. Comments must be submitted by March 8.

For more dam safety stories, visit here.

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