Reducing the impacts of a big expansion

See how Denver Water is addressing neighbors’ concerns about the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project.

July 17, 2019 | By: Kristi Delynko, Cathy Proctor

Construction projects come with impacts, that’s a fact.

But there’s plenty that can be done to minimize those impacts, and there’s plenty Denver Water is planning to do — and has already done — to address concerns raised by neighbors who live near the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project.

The expansion project, about 12 miles southwest of Boulder in Coal Creek Canyon, has been in the planning and permitting stage for 16 years, offering the utility an extensive opportunity to listen to community concerns about the project.

This summer is the third in a row the utility has opened a public information yurt near the caretakers’ offices at 3656 Gross Dam Road. The yurt, staffed by Denver Water personnel who can answer questions and take feedback, is typically open at least four days a week between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Denver Water staff also hold office hours at a nearby coffee shop for people who want to drop in to catch up on the project’s status or comment on it.

“The community has been great in sharing their concerns with us, concerns that we’ve taken to heart and worked hard to develop plans addressing them,” said Matt Wittern, Denver Water’s community liaison for the expansion project.

Worries raised by the community include viewshed, noise and traffic impacts during construction.

Watch the video above to see how Denver Water plans to address many of the concerns that have been raised.

The Gross Reservoir Expansion Project will raise the height of the existing dam, completed in 1954, by 131 feet, allowing the reservoir to nearly triple in size. When complete, the reservoir will be capable of holding about 119,000 acre-feet of water to provide greater balance and resiliency to Denver Water’s system.

Denver Water serves 1.4 million people in Denver and surrounding suburbs.

The project is awaiting a final federal government approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Provided the remaining federal approvals come by the end of this year, the project is slated to be complete in 2025.

If you’d like to be kept in the loop about project developments, updates and news, sign up for the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project newsletter, here.

1 thought on “Reducing the impacts of a big expansion”

  1. 119,000 ACRE FT OF WATER IS A LONG WAY FROM 1.1 MILLION ACRE FT OF WATER, AS IN TWO FORKS LAKE. ARE WE BEING A PENNEY WISE AND A POUND FOOLISH. BY DOING ALL THESE LITTLE NICKLE AND DIME PROJECTS, HOW MUCH MONEY, TIME AND EFFORT HAS BEEN WASTED BY NOT GOING FORWARD WITH TWO FORKS, EVEN BILL RILEY THINKS THE TIMING IS NOW RIGHT TO PURSUE TWO FORKS, IN HIS WORDS ” I DO NOT THINK TWO FORKS COULD BE STOPPED TODAY, I THINK IS THE EPA ADMINISTRATOR WHO STOPPED THE PROGRESS ON THE RESERVOIR. GO FIGURE??

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