Sustainable Practices Featured in Flood Recovery Work

Projects | March 14, 2018



Massive infrastructure damage in Boulder County, Colorado caused by 2013 flooding is still being addressed five years later. Fourmile Canyon is home to four of those flood recovery projects which are under construction management by Benesch’s team in Denver. Because these projects are unique in their proximity to waterways and developed surroundings, Benesch is working closely with contractors to minimize the construction footprint and perform quality, long lasting repairs.

The Benesch team is incorporating sound ecological practices during stream restoration and revegetation to establish a more sustainable and resilient watershed. A key feature of the recovery work is incorporating on-site materials, such as boulders, vegetation and embankments, within roadway, bridge and stream repairs. A pseudo design-build approach to stream restoration is underway after using a 30% concept plan set for Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) versioning and contractor bidding. A stream restoration specialist is advising the contractor on the most effective and environmentally sound restoration strategy.

Benesch is providing construction management and inspection (CM&I) services for four separate flood repair projects—all within one constrained corridor of Fourmile Canyon. A complex scheduling strategy is required to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously. CM&I services include overseeing the construction of several different types of retaining walls, bridge and roadway reconstruction and stream restoration along with contract compliance and documentation. Careful tracking and attention to various funding source guidelines are key components for project success.

As is typical for mountainous construction, these projects have a major public impact. Benesch is utilizing an extensive public involvement process to balance necessary infrastructure construction while minimizing inconveniences to local businesses and residents. Mountain homes are immediately adjacent to project sites and at times are within the construction limits. This requires daily communication with adjoining residents and the public at-large. Benesch is assisting the Boulder County Public Information Officer with distribution of both public notices and emails. Benesch’s project engineer is also personally interacting with the residents on a daily basis to accommodate access and field fit proposed changes.

Construction began in mid-2017 and has a 2019 expected completion date.