Waterton Canyon reopening delayed

Waterton Canyon to reopen March 2012

Dec. 20, 2011 - Waterton Canyon will reopen March 1, 2012, weather-permitting.

In the aftermath of the Buffalo Creek and Hayman fires, intense rains caused massive sediment to build up in Strontia Springs Reservoir, a key water supply source for the Denver-metro area located at the top of Waterton Canyon. As a result, Waterton Canyon, located southwest of Denver, was closed to public access in August 2010 for a Denver Water contractor to dredge the reservoir.

The canyon was scheduled to reopen at the end of 2011. Project demobilization, however, is still underway. In the interest of public safety, Waterton Canyon will reopen March 1, 2012, weather-permitting, after the majority of heavy machinery and equipment is demobilized. The 75-ton dredge will remain in the reservoir until the ice melts, so the canyon will need to be closed for three weeks in the spring for the contractor to remove the dredge. Further information about the three-week closure will be provided once the ice has melted.

“We apologize for the delay, and are deeply aware of the disappointment an extended closure presents to users of Waterton Canyon,” said Doug Raitt, construction project manager for Denver Water. “We fully understand the recreational importance of the canyon and realize it is one of the most popular recreational amenities in our community. We ask for the public’s patience and understanding as our contractor completes the work to demobilize this complex project.”

“The challenge of this project always has been to safeguard our vital water supply while removing sediment brought down the river by runoff from the fire-ravaged forests,” said Raitt. “No other municipal agency has faced a similar challenge to restoring its principal water supply.”

For questions related to recreation, email recreation@denverwater.org.

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