March 28, 2012 - Beginning in April and ending by February 2013, Denver Water will be upgrading Dillon Dam’s outlet works facility, which houses the system that controls the flow of water from Dillon Reservoir to the Blue River. The facility’s gates are more than 50 years old and need maintenance due to normal wear and tear. The focus of the work is to restore the gates to near original condition.
“We don’t expect this project to have much of an impact on traffic in the area, or on recreational users of the reservoir and the river,” said Nathan Myers, project engineer. “We’re working closely with county officials, as well as Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Fishing on the reservoir and the Blue River will remain available during the project.”
A Denver Water contractor will carry out the work. The majority of the construction will take place inside the fenced-in area near the Morning Glory spillway at the west side of the dam. During construction, the contractor will be moving heavy equipment — such as cranes, loaders, excavators and trucks — around the dam area. Daily construction traffic should not impact traffic around Dillon Reservoir; however, there may be limited traffic impacts when the contractor transports large equipment at the beginning and end of construction.
In order to work on the gates, the contractor will reroute the normal flow of water around the construction in the outlet works using a bypass system that will redirect water into the Blue River while the gates are out of service. While construction activities are slated to begin in April, the bypass system will operate from October through December. The flows in the Blue River are expected to range between 80 cubic-feet per second and 110 cubic-feet per second, which corresponds to the 10-year average flows that time of year. In addition, a barge may be placed on the reservoir within the buoy lines near the spillway as part of the bypass system. The barge will not interfere with normal activities on the reservoir.