Garfield County Commissioners make 50 percent match up to $100,000, and order emergency measures

Silt Water Conservancy District awards pipeline excavation project, orders pipeline

September 6, 2016

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners approved spending up to $100,000 in emergency funds to match Silt Water Conservancy District (SWCD) funds for immediate repairs to a ditch that conveys water released from Harvey Gap Reservoir to water users on Silt Mesa today. Emergency funds are committed by both agencies, as SWCD and Garfield County continue jointly seeking immediate solutions to providing water to agricultural users, and to repair the severely damaged county road for access to Harvey Gap State Park and north side ranches.

SWCD announced late today it is retaining Con-Sy at a cost of nearly $47,600 for excavation and labor, including a few thousand dollars for contingencies, to provide a 36″pipeline from an outlet below the Harvey Gap dam for a distance of 1,000 feet to cross under the road and down the other side of the gulch below the dam.
In the two weeks since the road was closed August 21, SWCD officials have accomplished a range of tasks in an expedited manner. They hired Colorado River Engineering President Chris Manera to provide engineering plans to reroute the Farmer’s Ditch, which runs parallel above the roadway. SWCD officials also ordered approximately $50,000 in pipeline to be delivered to the site from Salt Lake City, UT. From this newly engineered route, they created an emergency bid packet and obtained bids from three contractors, all by last Friday. The district expects the project for the pipeline to reach approximately $135,000 in costs for materials, engineering and other items, along with the nearly $50,000 in excavation for the new pipeline route.

Garfield County is hiring an engineering firm to evaluate the soils and the continuously flowing water coming out of the ground deep below the road base. The engineering firm will work to determine the source of water. Road and Bridge staff expects to consider a slightly altered road alignment, because of the large portion of sloughed off soil under the current roadway.

The county contacted the State of Colorado Geological Survey, which sent a staff geologist to do an initial evaluation of the collapse. A more in-depth evaluation will be conducted as soon as a qualified engineering firm is hired through the county’s emergency procurement procedure.

Landowners on both sides of Harvey Gap Road have also been contacted and are involved in discussions with the two entities, one for right-of-way for the pipeline, and the other for road right-of-way. Garfield County’s plans to either repair or realign the road have been contingent on SWCD’s final decision of realignment of the ditch. Now Garfield County can move forward with planning to repair the road as soon as feasible.

Garfield County commissioners are anxious to get the road work underway, and are very pleased with the extensive emergency work that SWCD officials have undertaken during the emergency planning process. Commissioners directed county staff to work in the most expedited manner possible on getting the road repaired, and asserted that emergency county funds and emergency procurement measures are in place to avoid any delay in getting the road back in full working order.

Soils must dry out to rebuild a stable road base. Based on further analysis, this could potentially mean excavating a lot of existing material and replacing it, or allowing soils under the road to dry out and realigning the road.

Regarding emergency response matters, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office deputies are fluid, according to Sheriff Lou Vallario. He said they work on both the New Castle and Rifle ends of Grass Valley Road (County Road 226), which runs along the top of Harvey Gap Road from both towns, and they would respond quickly from either end. Also, he relayed that Colorado River Fire Rescue has fire departments in New Castle, Silt and Rifle, and that any fire response needed would be from the closest station to any fire location. He also noted that nearby residents are reachable via the County Road 226 route, and that all properties can be reached from one side of the closure or the other.

harvey gap road closure map

harvey gap road damage