Final approvals for the Northern Integrated Supply Project, a major water development project that will include the construction of two new reservoirs in northern Colorado, have yet to be granted, but motorists on US 287 at north of Fort Collins will begin to see activity beginning in June.
The Northern Water Conservancy District, the developer of the water project, posted information on its website Monday that geological crews will be on site in areas visible from US 287 to assess rock and soil aspects of the dam site for the future Glade Reservoir required for design purposes. The work can last up to six months.
Advancing design work now, even before final approvals, helps Northern Water reduce the project schedule.
If the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers makes its final decision this year, construction could begin as early as 2023 with Glade Reservoir ready for water supply by 2028.
Glade Reservoir will be a 170,000 acre-foot reservoir that will displace approximately seven miles from US 287 when constructed. An acre foot is 326,000 gallons, enough water to cover an acre one foot deep.
Relocation of the freeway could begin as early as 2023 if approvals arrive this year.
Glade, according to previously reported project details, would be joined by another new reservoir, Galeton, a 45,600-acre reservoir northwest of Ault. In total, the project will cost approximately $1.1 billion and will be paid for by water users in 15 communities or districts: Central Weld County Water District, Dacono, Eaton, Erie, Evans, Firestone, Fort Collins-Loveland Water District , Fort Lupton, Fort Morgan, Frederick, Lafayette, Left Hand Water District, Morgan County Quality Water District, Severance and Windsor.
Work that will begin in June, called Glade Reservoir Geotechnical Design Assessment, will help inform design and construction planning, the water district said on its website. The works will include:
- Dig a 1,000 foot long trench at the main dam to test materials and drill foundations.
- Build a test platform of types of backfill materials.
- Produce aggregates and rockfill from quarries and study the characteristics of the materials.
If work proceeds as it did on the Chimney Hollow Reservoir west of Lake Carter in Larimer County, all of the aggregate needed for the dam and its foundation will be excavated on site to avoid having to haul huge amounts of material in or out of the tank footprint. .
This article was first published by BizWest, an independent news agency, and is published under a license agreement. © 2022 BizWestMedia LLC.