Town Prepares For Fish Creek Road And Utilities Restoration
The Town of Estes Park is leading efforts to restore utility outages and road repairs in the most heavily damaged area of the Estes Valley along Fish Creek Road. Approximately 3.25 miles of Fish Creek Road were destroyed or damaged during the flood, which resulted in the losses of sewer, natural gas, electric and water service rights of way. The road must be rebuilt in order to restore these utility services, as well as to restore access to residents in the area. Since it is economically unfeasible, given the current access limitations, to bring the quantity of road materials needed from other locations, the Town found another option.
Fill material for road construction is immediately available along the bottom of Lake Estes where the Big Thompson River enters the small reservoir. To facilitate access to that part of the reservoir, the Bureau of Reclamation is working closely with the Town of Estes Park to lower the water level of Lake Estes approximately ten feet. A rock crusher to process recovered materials is currently secured at Cherokee Draw on the south side of Lake Estes.
Meanwhile, rain run-off that has accumulated in the Estes Valley continues to drain and the run-off inflows to Lake Estes continue to decline. As a result of the declining inflows, on Tuesday Reclamation was able to reduce releases from Olympus Dam to the Big Thompson Canyon by about 50 cubic feet per second (cfs). They are currently releasing about 490 cfs. Although inflows to Lake Estes continue to decline, Reclamation will maintain the 490 cfs release rate in order to drop the reservoir down so the Town can recover the material it needs. Reclamation anticipates the 490 cfs release rate to continue for a while, but as always, weather could change the release rate.
The Town of Estes Park has staged heavy equipment and other resources and as of this week, the collection and processing of road materials has begun. Crews will operate the rock crusher at Lake Estes Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.