St. Vrain Creek Restoration – US 36 to Airport Rd

St. Vrain Creek Restoration - US 36 to Airport Rd

Post-flood restoration work is underway along the St. Vrain Creek between US 36 and Airport Road.

Breach Repairs

St Vrain Creek Repair MapBetween Lyons and Longmont in September 2013, Saint Vrain Creek breached its banks in nine different locations, burst through a reservoir and gravel ponds and flood waters impacted western Longmont. Recovery efforts have been underway all along this stretch since soon after the flood. Boulder County is now leading the effort to develop designs for the creek between US 36 and Hygiene Road where the creek breached those nine times.

The county will be working in collaboration with the Saint Vrain Creek Coalition, our neighbors along the creek, and the City of Longmont to restore the Saint Vrain throughout this length. The restoration designs will focus on Reach 3 of the St. Vrain Creek Master Plan.

This project is funded through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The State of Colorado were awarded the funds to address flood impacts throughout the state and this project on the Saint Vrain was granted a portion of the funding for planning and design.

In order to move from planning and design toward construction, the county hopes to secure funding through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program administered by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). To do so, the county and its partners must have 30% designs complete by September 1, 2016. On this page you can find an outline of the 30% design and planning process as well as a guide to public engagement during this planning phase.


The following tasks were completed by a team of consultants with assistance by Parks & Open Space and stakeholders:

1. Assessment

  • Background Information: Review all relevant background information, including previous site-specific assessments, plans, reports, data, and map
  • Project Goals Statement:Provide a clear definition of project goals and objectives developed in collaboration with Parks & Open Space, the St. Vrain Creek Coalition, neighbors, and other stakeholders
  • Watershed and Site Assessment:Conduct on-the-ground watershed and site assessments and surveys, including geology, ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, soils, topography, and infrastructure, within the project reach and beyond
  • Hydrology:Determine how much water enters the project area utilizing post-flood hydrology as determined by CDOT
  • Hydraulics:Identify how water is transported within the channel and across the floodplain through hydraulic modeling
  • Geomorphology:Identify the stream type, bedform, planform, channel evolution stage, and channel and floodplain dimensions within the project reach
  • Sediment Transport:Analyze the movement of sediment within and through the project reach
  • Aquatic and Terrestrial Species Habitat Requirements:Understand habitat requirements for native species, including species of concern

2. Alternatives Analysis and Preferred Alternative

  • Based on the assessment, the consulting team will provide preliminary concept plans with appropriate number of alternatives (2-3) given the site conditions, constraints, and restoration potential
  • Evaluate the alternatives based on agreed upon decision criteria and select a preferred alternative
  • A “Preliminary Basis of Design Report”, which explains and documents the assessment, alternatives, selection criteria, and preferred alternative, will be produced by the consultant.

3. 30% Project Design

  • Produce 30% restoration design package, which will include such things as typical channel dimensions and profile, channel alignment, in-stream and floodplain features, bioengineering components, construction and access limits, planting areas, grading quantities, and other items as identified in the project goals.
  • Following guidance from our funders within the CDBG-DR program, we have decided to alter our design to focus on using the existing landscape to the advantage of the restoration. The new design will be posted after December 14, 2016.

4. Final 30% Design

  • The final 30% design with new stream restoration design will be submitted to Boulder County Parks and Open Space and the State of Colorado Technical Team for their review on December 21, 2016.
  • The final design report takes into account public comment received prior to October 2016.

Final 30% Design

Next Steps

Parks & Open Space is working to secure the necessary local, state, and federal permits for the project.

Implementation of the 30% design will be dependent on available funding, including EWP. If EWP funds are secured, portions of the project are scheduled to be constructed in 2017.

All projects will require long-term monitoring.

Past Public Meetings

Project Goals and Scoping – June 1

Parks & Open Space and it’s consultant, Engineering Analytics, provided a brief presentation on the project approach, including a general outline of the engineering and restoration design process and the project goals and objectives. The team led a discussion gathering public input and concerns that will inform the design of the restoration project.

Presentation of Alternatives & Site Visit – July 12

The project team presented draft alternatives and conducted a site visit with the public. The meeting was attended by members of the public as well as members of the Saint Vrain Creek Coalition. On the following evening, a shortened version of the presentation was presented to the Saint Vrain Creek Coalition Advisory Committee.

Preferred Alternative – August 10

The project team presented the preferred alternative and addressed concerns, provided responses, and is considering appropriate changes as necessary.

30% Design Presentation – December 14

The project team presented the final 30% design of the stream restoration. The team addressed concerns, provide responses, and make appropriate changes as necessary.

Other Restoration Projects Along St. Vrain Creek

South St. Vrain Creek

Boulder County Parks & Open Space, along with the St. Vrain Creek Coalition, neighbors, and other stakeholders, are collaborating on post-flood restoration along South St. Vrain Creek. This section is part of Reach 4b in the St. Vrain Creek Watershed Master Plan. Learn More

Pella Crossing

Pella Crossing is a combination of publicly accessible trails and former gravel ponds that support non-motorized fishing activities. The flood waters of September 2013 destroyed much of the visitor infrastructure at Pella Crossing and destroyed a number of the ponds. Through FEMA funding, the project will restore both the ponds and the public access, including the trails, trailhead and restroom. In addition, emergency spillways and other features will be constructed to protect the reservoirs and surrounding area from similar damage if a major flood event were to occur in the future. Restoring public access to this project is an important part of returning and strengthening public engagement with this reach of the St. Vrain Creek, and it is an important link of the St. Vrain Greenway trail system.

Pella Flood Damage

Ramey Homestead

First homesteaded around 1861, the Ramey House is one of the oldest known homesteads standing in Boulder County. The residence itself narrowly avoided significant damage; however the outbuildings of the original farm were damaged and dislocated by the flood waters. The Ramey project will restore the pastureland and historic configuration of this important cultural resource.


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