Trends Summer 2013 - Page 10

L Flood control improvements provide multiple benefits to Colorado City By Tawny Quast 10│TRENDS ook no further than the scores of bikers, joggers, and walkers enjoying the far western stretches of the St. Vrain Greenway trail on any given day in Longmont, Colorado, to understand the impact the Lykins Gulch Stream Restoration project has had on this mid-sized community just north of Denver. On any given day, outdoor enthusiasts use the mile-long greenway for recreation and as a link between their homes and rest of the 7-mile-long trail system, east of St. Vrain Creek. David Hollingsworth, who led the Lykins Gulch project for the City of Longmont, said the pedestrian path link is the most evident public benefit of the stream restoration project. “People really enjoy being able to access the St. Vrain Greenway from the west side of town,” he said. “Before, at least one-quarter of the City’s residents couldn’t do that. Now people are always using it.” While the trail may be the most obvious improvement, it was just a part of a complex flood control project. The project involved rerouting the Lykins Gulch drainageway to its natural path by Left: The newly restored Lykins Gulch is a mile-long natural channel on the western side of Longmont, Colorado, that runs through farm fields and a private lake before discharging into St. Vrain Creek. Above: The project includes a boulder walk across the entrance to the water quality pond. designing a mile-long natural channel through farm fields and a private lake before discharging into St. Vrain Creek. Ayres Associates, led by its Denverarea office, provided the engineering services for the project. In all, the project removed 150 acres from the 100-year floodplain, provided a critical link for the St. Vrain Greenway trail system, re-established the Lykins Gulch drainageway, created a natural channel with native vegetation, and improved water quality. Figuring out a feasible, cost-effective way to meet all those objectives was not easy or run-of-the-mill, Hollingsworth said. Walt Pennington, Ayres Associates’ project manager, praised Hollingsworth for his dedication to TRENDS │11