By Marjorie Price/David Howlett, Capitol Representatives
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) South Platte River and Tributaries Project (Denver SPRT) and the Southern Platte Valley (Denver SPV) continue to make significant progress.
The 2020 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) was signed into law on December 27, 2020, successfully ending a 14-month effort to obtain congressional authorization of the Denver SPRT. The Denver SPRT has been authorized as a dual flood risk management and ecosystem restoration project at a total estimated cost of $550,273,000, including the federal share of $344,076,000 and the non-federal local share of $206,197,000.
The congressional authorization was the first significant next step forward for the Denver SPRT towards the longstanding goal involving the actual implementation of this equally significant project. The next step involves The Greenway Foundation team (TGF) continuing to work with the City and County of Denver (City) and the USACE to obtain initial funding for Pre-Construction Engineering and Design (PED) of the Denver SPRT.
The Denver SPRT Project includes three project elements:
6.5-mile project reach from West 6 th Avenue to West 58 th Avenue
Weir Gulch from the South Platte River and Weir Gulch confluence to just west of South Sheridan Boulevard
Harvard Gulch from the South Platte River and Harvard Gulch confluence to South Colorado Boulevard
The Denver SPV Project is located along the South Platte River (SPR) in Denver between West Yale Avenue, downstream 2+miles to West Mississippi Avenue - an ecosystem restoration project with an estimated total cost of $12,397,000. The Project received funding in federal Fiscal Year 2020 that, with local match, fully funds the design phase of this project. At least one subproject could be ready for construction as soon as late 2022.
Federal requests for construction funding are already gaining USACE and Colorado congressional delegation support.
TGF is excited to continue this longstanding and partnered effort to bring, yet again, additional environmental and flood protection opportunities for our River and its tributaries!