By Erica Meltzer Camera Staff Writer Boulder Daily Camera
Boulder began a $3 million improvement project at the Boulder Reservoir on Monday that aims to improve infrastructure for visitors and increase operational efficiencies.
The main entrance will be closed at least through next May, as construction crews work on entry-gate fencing, roadway and parking lot improvements, sewer and stormwater management infrastructure, landscaping and the installation of a raw water irrigation system. The aquatic nuisance monitoring system also will be upgraded.
The project was funded as part of $49 million in capital improvement programs approved last fall by Boulder voters.
The reservoir improvements were identified as high-priority projects in the Boulder Reservoir Master Plan, which was adopted by the City Council earlier this year after a public process.
Boulder Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Jennifer Bray said many of the improvements will directly affect the visitor experience. There should be better traffic flow through the main entrance, fewer traffic back-ups during the height of the season and fewer traffic problems along 51st Street during special events.
The entrance should also be more attractive due to new landscaping and architectural features.
Bray said the entryway improvements also will allow for better monitoring of aquatic nuisance species and will include a decontamination station to prevent infestations.
Other parts of the project include the development of multi-use trails along 51st Street and the north shore of the reservoir to allow off-street access from 51st and to provide connections with other regional trails, dock improvements along the south shore, building renovations and utility upgrades.
"All of the improvements are high priority in that, once implemented, they will address ongoing operational efficiencies and accommodate the expectations and needs of the community," Bray said.
Work on the trail improvements is expected to continue through 2015, though most of the rest of the project is expected to wrap up sooner.
The reservoir will continue to be open during construction, but visitors will have to avoid the main entrance.
Visitors will be able to get to the reservoir's south shore through a temporary gate, which will be located at the south overflow parking lot.
There will be a temporary gatehouse located inside the gates of the south overflow lot and it will be open and staffed during regular facility hours.
People who are driving to the reservoir to run, walk or bike should use either the Eagle Trail parking area or enter into the reservoir and park in the main lot.
Contact Camera Business Writer Erica Meltzer at 303-473-1355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.