This week, Summit County’s design-build team of Ecological Resource Consultants/Tezak Heavy Equipment (ERC/Tezak) continues major earthwork operations on the Swan River Restoration project site. The new stream channel is really starting to come into focus!
The milling plant crew located on the upstream (west) side of Rock Island Road continues to prepare and modify its platform area work site to allow for stockpiling of processed materials and importing of raw materials (dredge rock) from downstream excavations. In order to do so, crews are excavating and processing materials from around the milling platform to allow for offsite/onsite reuse and to create the necessary space for material being relocated upstream from downstream.
On Monday and Tuesday, CDOT contractors began hauling crushed materials from the Swan River Restoration site for use on CDOT’s State Highway 9 Iron Springs alignment project. Material export will continue sporadically over the next several weeks for offsite beneficial reuse on the highway realignment project, as well as Summit County Road and Bridge projects throughout the county. We’ll provide updates on hauling and material export in this blog as information becomes available.
In recent days, questions have arisen about sediment and silt in the Swan River channel downstream of the restoration project site. This is a temporary condition called turbidity and should pose no impairment to overall long-term stream health.
Project permits allow for this temporary condition as a component of this type of stream restoration work, because restoring the stream requires crews to work in the existing channel and surrounding areas. Often times, it is possible to divert water around a site while construction is occurring, however, hydrologic conditions on the Swan Restoration site are uniquely challenging. Because water primarily runs subsurface, it literally pours out of the dredge gravels as machinery digs through it, and there is no good way to keep water from passing through the project site.
ERC/Tezak are continuously working to create temporary diversions, settling basins, and baffles to slow water down and help filter it. Though you may notice visual changes to the stream, turbidity should decrease once onsite work concludes each day. Turbidity will likely be a regular occurrence while excavation is occurring onsite.
Work is scheduled to continue through November 2016, followed by a winter shut-down period, before recommencing in spring 2017. Additional information about Swan River Restoration Project is available at RestoreTheSwanRiver.com as well as on the Open Space and Trails Special Projects web page. If you have additional questions about the restoration project, you can contact Summit County Open Space and Trails Director Brian Lorch, or Open Space and Trails Resource Specialist Jason Lederer, or call 970.668.4060.