Doug Trieste: Dam safety trumps biker convenience |

Doug Trieste: Dam safety trumps biker convenience

Doug Trieste

The Dillon Dam “barrier issue” is getting ridiculous. If someone is inconvenienced by having to make a very slight and simple maneuver around a barrier, then perhaps they should be riding a stationary bike or couch.

The potential consequences of failure of Dillon Dam would be catastrophic. There is high potential for numerous loss of life, and economic losses would be massive. In addition, the downstream channel would experience a flood and devastation unlike anything that has occurred in all of geologic time. Failure of Dillon Dam would likely cause a failure of Green Mountain Dam and the consequent flood would not be safely contained in the Colorado River until well into Utah. What is the problem with making a diligent effort to protect our people, development and natural resources from such a catastrophe?

How can someone compare the tradeoff between the minuscule inconvenience of having to maneuver a bike around a barrier to the catastrophe of a dam failure flood? I think that is ludicrous. Denver Water Department should be commended – not criticized – for their efforts.

And no, I do not, nor never did, work for Denver Water. However, I have – and still do – work with the safety of dams and have performed hundreds of dam-failure inundation studies around the United States and understand the incredible flooding that is possible due to a dam failure. Any responsible dam owner will do its best to prevent dam failures, and Denver Water is doing just that. So, let’s cut them some slack and deal with a few of our minor inconveniences for the good of so many.

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