Trends Winter 2018 | Page 18

depth, and sheer stress in specific locations, such as on an embankment or within a river channel. One- dimensional modeling doesn’t provide that. The 2D hydraulic modeling approach to the design of highway protection to this canyon project and other projects undertaken during the Colorado flood recovery effort sets a template for future highway design projects within canyon environments in similar settings.” CHALLENGES MET THROUGH TEAMWORK Being such a complex project, collaboration between CDOT, the contractor, and all the consultants was key to the project’s overall success, said Doug Stremel, project manager at Jacobs. “This was a very collaborative project with the design team, CDOT, and the contractor all in one room,” he said. “The collaboration drove numerous iterations as well as innovation that fed into the resilient design. We were 18│ TRENDS all on the same page, and the team really bonded.” From CDOT’s perspective, other challenges of the project included having to maintain access for residents and service providers during the shut-down, said James Usher, CDOT’s Project Director. Also, because the road led to Estes Park, a town where tourism is critical, much of the construction work was completed in the winter months. “Being able to construct most of the project in the winter was a significant accomplishment,” he said. “We had people working in sub-zero weather in a narrow canyon with minimal sunlight.” Ayres Associates’ contribution to the project with regard to hydraulic expertise was critical to the project’s outcome, Humphrey said. “Ayres brought an incredible amount of technical knowledge to the job, which was invaluable to the success of the overall project,” Humphrey said. “We leaned heavily on (Ayres) to not only do the hydraulic design but also communicate the message to stakeholders on why hydraulics was such a critical component of this job.” In the end, the project has greatly reduced the extensive areas that will have catastrophic roadway damage in the event of another flood, Usher added. “After the 2013 flood, 12 miles of canyon were inaccessible. With the resiliencies that were implemented, CDOT believes, in the event of another flood, those 12 miles will be reduced to about a mile and a half,” he said. DeRosset agreed, saying that despite its challenges, he’s confident the U.S. 34 project has done its job. “We haven’t eliminated risk completely, but what we have done is taken a 12-mile stretch of highway that was highly vulnerable to future damage and shrunk that down to very few limited areas of extreme sheer stress and erosion,” he said. “In the end, I think we’ve made the canyon a better place.”