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Long-term recreation closure at Gross Reservoir

Boulder, Colo. — June 22, 2022 — Recreation at Gross Reservoir will remain closed for multiple weeks following the June 18 fatal accident at the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project where an engineer with six years of experience from Kiewit Barnard a Joint Venture lost his life. This is essential as crews work to remove the equipment involved in the incident from the reservoir.

The first step in removing the equipment from the reservoir is to complete a survey of the area to ensure the resources brought in are capable of extracting equipment of this size from complex underwater environments. 

This is an important process to assess the terrain in and around where the equipment lies in the water, which will help determine the best, safest method to remove it from the water expeditiously and with the least amount of impact to the reservoir. 

This closure is necessary to ensure public safety and includes on-water recreation, hiking and picnicking. Please avoid the area until recreation access is reopened to the public. We encourage you to visit one of Denver Water’s other recreation facilities.

Statement from Jim Lochhead, CEO/Manager at Denver Water:
This incident will have a lasting impact on all of us. We extend our thoughts to friends and family of the engineer who tragically lost his life and recognize that it’s going to be a long road for many, especially our extended family at Kiewit Barnard. 

We now ask for the public’s patience as our contractor works to safely remove the vehicle from the reservoir and so that all involved parties can thoroughly investigate and make any changes necessary to ensure another accident like this does not occur again.

For any inquiries, please contact the following agencies:

Recreation closures and community impacts – Denver Water
Jose Salas

Employee and construction information – Kiewit Barnard
Teresa Shada


Denver Water proudly serves high-quality water and promotes its efficient use to 1.5 million people in the city of Denver and many surrounding suburbs. Established in 1918, the utility is a public agency funded by water rates, new tap fees and the sale of hydropower, not taxes. It is Colorado’s oldest and largest water utility. Subscribe to TAP to hydrate your mind, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.