Denver Water to start maintenance project Monday on Dillon Dam
Starting Monday, July 7, Denver Water will be upgrading part of Dillon Dam.
The maintenance, expected to take at least six months, shouldn’t affect fishing on Dillon Reservoir or the Blue River.
“We don’t expect this project to have much of an impact on traffic in the area, or on recreational users of the reservoir and the river,” said Jeff Archer, project engineer, in a news release.
Denver Water is working closely with county officials and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, he said.
The gates of the dam’s outlet works facility, which houses the system that controls the flow of water from the reservoir into the Blue River, are more than 50 years old and need renovations due to normal wear and tear.
A Denver Water contractor will restore the gates to near original condition.
The majority of the construction will be inside the fenced-in area near the Morning Glory spillway toward the Frisco side of the Dillon Dam Road. During construction, the contractor will occasionally move heavy equipment — such as cranes, loaders, excavators and trucks — around the dam area.
Traffic may be impacted when the contractor transports large equipment at the beginning and end of construction.
To work on the gates, the contractor will reroute the normal flow of water around the construction in the outlet works using a bypass system that will redirect water into the Blue River while the gates are out of service. The bypass system likely will operate from August through December.
Blue River flows are expected to correspond with average flows for the time of year.
A barge with a crane also will be placed within the buoy lines near the spillway as part of the bypass system for a week in the fall. The barge will not interfere with normal activities on the reservoir.
This $3.4 million project was announced in 2012 but was postponed due to drought conditions, which made the project unfeasible because of the necessary bypass system.
On Monday, Denver Water increased Dillon Reservoir’s outflow into the Blue River from about 630 cubic feet per second to around 775 cfs.
The utility plans to continue increasing the outflow through the week to end at a rate between 950 and 1,200 cfs, depending on conditions.
The utility has focused this runoff season on balancing Dillon Reservoir’s inflows with its outflow to the Blue River to help avoid flooding in Silverthorne.
Dillon Reservoir inflows on Monday were about 1,200 to 1,300 cfs and were expected to decrease slowly over the next few days.
The reservoir was about 1 foot from full, and Denver Water plans to keep that level steady for the next few weeks.
For more information about the project, visit denverwater.org/Recreation/Dillon/OutletWorks.
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