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Longmont’s Golden Ponds Repairs Underway After 2013 Flood Damage

April 26, 2018 GMT

Work is underway on replacing a spillway and bridge washed out in the September 2013 floods through Longmont’s Golden Ponds Nature Area west of Third Avenue and Hover Street.

The spillway and pedestrian bridge that crosses it is a concrete structure that releases excess water from area’s easternmost pond, Pond 3, into the St. Vrain River.

City officials announced last month that the project will include installing a new concrete spillway and a new pedestrian crossing with handrails. A portion of the trail around the easternmost pond has been closed since the floods and will also be rebuilt and reopened.

Jennifer Loper, a city public information specialist, said on Wednesday that people will begin seeing trail closings this week as crews haul concrete rubble from the old spillway away from the easternmost pond.

She said all the Golden Ponds trails are being closed in this initial phase of the project while the rubble is moved because crews from the city’s contractor, L&M Enterprises, will need to get their empty trucks into the gravel trail between Ponds 1 and 2. They are planning to enter from the area’s parking lot and over a portion of the concrete trail that heads west.

Next week, closings are only expected to be of the trails immediately around the spillway repair area after the rubble hauling is completed.

Rubble will be stored temporarily in an area north of the westernmost pond until it can be used to build a fishing pier at the ponds, Loper said.

The spillway, bridge and trail replacement and repair project could take two to three months to complete, although delays from spring runoff levels are possible.

Holly Milne, the communications and marketing manager for the city’s Department of Public Works and Natural Resources, said on Wednesday that the city’s contractor for the project is completing the work at a cost of approximately $511,000.

A grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to cover 75 percent of the cost. Longmont and the state will split the remaining costs.

According to the city’s Golden Ponds Nature Area website, the 88-acre Golden Ponds Nature Area opened in 1990 on land donated to Longmont by the V.V. Golden Foundation.

Vernon Golden, who had mined gravel on the site, made the donation to give residents a place to fish, walk and enjoy nature. A bronze sculpture of him helping a small boy fish was donated by his family and is along the path just west of the Golden Ponds parking area.

Golden Ponds Nature Area is a trailhead to the western end of the St. Vrain Greenway, has 2.6 miles of concrete and gravel trails, a handicap-accessible fishing pier, two restrooms and nine picnic shelters.

John Fryar: 303-684-5211, jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc