Boulder County, Colo. – Boulder County, in partnership with the City of Longmont, has completed restoration of a 1,960 foot segment of North St. Vrain Creek that was scoured and degraded by the 2013 Flood. Funding for the project was provided by Boulder County, the City of Longmont, and the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) with Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. The North St. Vrain Creek Collaborative Restoration Project is the first stream restoration project implemented under the Watershed Resilience Pilot Program.
“The N. St. Vrain Creek project is a successful example of the goals we are trying to achieve with the Watershed Resilience Pilot Program,” said KC McFerson, CDBG-DR Watershed Program Manager at DOLA. “The project aligns watershed restoration and risk mitigation with community goals using a collaborative approach.”
The overall restoration goal was to restore the stream channel and improve the North St. Vrain Creek in-stream aquatic habitat and riparian ecology. The N. St. Vrain Creek Collaborative Restoration Project included:
- Excavation and configuration of creek benthic material to create, enhance, and protect aquatic riffle, pool, and run habitat
- Placement of large rock structures to provide better benthic habitat stability and to maintain creek resilience
- Placement of habitat rock and features for structure and flow diversity
- Revegetation of riparian areas
The restoration project was implemented in conjunction with the reconstruction of Longmont Dam Road by the Boulder County Transportation Department, allowing cost efficiencies estimated at 50% compared to completing the creek restoration project on its own.
“In many flood-affected areas, the road and creek are interconnected. Constructing the road and stream restoration projects together improves the success of both projects,” said George Gerstle, Director of the Boulder County Transportation Department.
The Boulder County Transportation Department plans to implement five additional stream restoration projects adjacent to road reconstruction projects.
The City of Longmont plans to reinstall a wheelchair accessible fishing pier in the project area that was destroyed in the flood. The City of Longmont will also be implementing a stream restoration project upstream of the N. St. Vrain Creek project.
Flatirons, Inc. and Blue Earth Solutions developed the designs for the road and creek projects. American West Construction, LLC constructed both the road and the creek elements of the project. Loris and Associates and Blue Earth Solutions provided construction management for the project.