The Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge is a place to call home. If you are a migratory bird, mule deer, or beaver that is. It depends on flow diversion from the Rio Grande River, which is historically controlled by an earthen dam that repeatedly failed and was rebuilt.
After the last failure in 2001, the decision was made to stop continual repairs. A new solution was needed and we teamed up with North State Environmental to find it. We proposed the installation of a rock vein, set at a specific elevation, to divert water to the canal for the wetland. Several of these structures are new to the state of Colorado.
In just 60 days we finished surveying and assessing the existing conditions, and prepared an ecosystem restoration plan, permit approvals, and stream restoration design for over a half mile of river realignment and restoration. Our 3D design process used multiple, rapid design iterations for earthwork and cost optimization. We also sped up the process by using survey grade GPS for survey during construction. Throughout the 3,000 linear feet of the river we worked on, the innovative structures ensure continuation of natural river function and fish habitat.