Longmont, Boulder County Flood Recovery Projects Win Awards from American Public Works Association

September 6, 2018

The rebuilt area of the St. Vrain Creek seen here from the Martin Street bridge is one of two stretches of the creek whose rehabilitation earned Longmont an award from the American Public Works Association.

Longmont and Boulder County each had flood recovery projects selected as 2018 winners of separate awards from the state chapter of the American Public Works Association.

The first two phases of the Resilient St. Vrain project in Longmont that rehabilitated stretches of the St. Vrain Creek altered by the 2013 flood won the city the association’s Sustainability Award for a large community. The portions of the creek for which the rehabilitation efforts were honored run through Sandstone Ranch and from Martin to Main streets.

Boulder County’s replacement of the Old South St. Vrain Road bridge that reopened earlier this summer and was accompanied by restoration of 1.2 miles of the South St. Vrain Creek earned the association’s Disaster or Emergency Construction award for a large community.

“Completing Sandstone Ranch Reach and City Reach 1 (between Main and Martin) and reopening the St. Vrain Greenway in these areas has been a successful start to the Resilient St. Vrain project,” Dale Rademacher, general manager of Longmont’s Public Works and Natural Resources department, stated in a city news release. “This work illustrates the ability of the city of Longmont to turn the tragedy of the 2013 flood into success, while keeping the environment and wildlife as important project priorities as well,”

The goal of the Resilient St. Vrain project is to shrink the creek’s floodplain to prevent damage in future floods. The association recognized the project for “efficient delivery of infrastructure in an environmentally and socially responsible way that ensures the best choice in the long term,” the release stated.

The entire project — which includes work on the whole stream corridor through the city — is expected to take 10 years to complete and cost between $120 million and $140 million.

Boulder County’s Old South St. Vrain Road work replaced the bridge near the intersection of Colo. 7 west of Lyons that washed away in the 2013 flood. The new bridge is a 180-foot-long steel truss bridge that cost $2.26 million and marked an upgrade over the now-destroyed 73-foot concrete bridge built in 1960.

“Thinking outside the box was a constant theme starting with designing a bridge with multiple topographical limitations (and) finding an economical aesthetic solution that met local residents’ requests...” the county’s award application stated.

Restoration of the 1.2 miles of South St. Vrain Creek cost another $2.8 million that was funded by state and federal flood recovery grants.

The association’s state chapter will present awards to the agencies along with 21 other public works projects across Colorado at an annual conference in Arvada on Oct. 29.

Sam Lounsberry: 303-473-1322, slounsberry@prairiemountainmedia.com and twitter.com/samlounz .

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