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. With large sections of the channel mass grading complete, efforts are also being directed towards constructing the stream structures (riffles, pools, and glides), which will provide important aquatic habitat once the project is complete.
Crews have even been able to transplant some large willows salvaged onsite into the newly constructed stream banks. These overhanging plants also provide important stream and riparian habitat, as well as help stabilize bank, riparian, and upland soils.
With the existing channel now running dry, as it typically does seasonally due to the porous nature of the onsite dredge gravels, crews have begun filling and abandon the old channel.
Fortunately, all indications are that the new channel will contain year round flows and not run dry seasonally, during typical flow years.
Over the last few weeks, we have also worked with ERC/Tezak and our project partners to make some project design modifications as a result of the channel excavation exposing previously unknown mine wastes within the dredge tailings along an approximately 1,000 linear foot stretch near the downstream end of the project. These mine waste materials were buried more than ten feet below the surface, under the clean dredge gravels. Unfortunately, this mine waste material is unsuitable for use in the channel bed or banks and required us to make some design modifications to channel stream sinuosity and grades in order avoid further exposure of this unsuitable material to the surface. Working with ERC/Tezak and our project partners, we identified a solution that addresses this unforeseen situation, but still meets the overall project restoration goals and satisfies the various regulatory requirements we must adhere too. The design solution also maintains ERC/Tezak’s ability to honor their commitments to provide crushed gravel for CDOT’s State Highway 9 Iron Springs alignment project
and County road projects. Changes to ERC/Tezak’s grading approach within the project site results in a greater portion of this crushed material being exported from the upstream end of the restoration area than previously anticipated, but no net increase in previously anticipated total export quantities will occur.
As offsite export activities begin ramping up we want to reaffirmed the County’s commitment to ensuring public safety through enforcement of traffic laws on Tiger Road and the Traffic Management Plan included in the County's rock milling Conditional Use Permit. We want to ensure that residents and visitors using Tiger Road are aware that trucking to the CDOT project has started, and trucking by the County Road and Bridge Department is likely to commence soon as well. The volume of this trucking is largely dependent on the timing of project needs, and is likely to continue until snow closes down the project this fall.
This is also a busy time for Tiger Road truck traffic associated with US Forest Service timber management, the gravel pit adjacent to (upstream) County property, as well as for recreational traffic and users. Extra care and diligence by all road users is strongly encouraged. If you have any concerns about trucks hauling materials to the CDOT project, please contact their hotline at 719-593-9239, or email at CDOTIronSprings@gmail.com. For comments or questions about trucks displaying County Logos, please contact the Summit County Road and Bridge Department at 970-668-3590.
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.