Left Hand Creek Flood Recovery and Restoration
After Colorado’s 2013 flood, the state received funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service Emergency Watershed Protection Program to address extensive damage to homes, businesses, and road infrastructure. During the flood, high sediment loading quickly plugged undersized culverts at road crossings and caused threatened life and property. Working closely with Lefthand Watershed Oversight Group and property owners, Otak led the analysis and design for this high-visibility project and provided construction support. Improvements included floodplain reconnection, restored riffle-pool and step-pool sequencing, offset protection at critical assets, bank stabilization, and native revegetation. We led public stakeholder meetings, facilitated discussions with property owners, completed 1D and 2D hydraulic modeling, and provided sediment transport analyses to meet technical design and floodplain permitting requirements. This project has made the area much safer for its residents, with resiliency protections, reduced flood risk, and stream health improvements. The river will perform better during future floods with reduced damage and faster recovery time.
Client: Lefthand Watershed Oversight Group
Date Completed: 2017
Project Manager: Tracy Emmanuel (contact)
Otak Team Contract Amount/Total Project Cost: $731,000; $4.2 million
Type: Water resources
2018 Colorado Contractors Association Environmental Excellence Award