August 1, 2008

Reservoir Spillway to Be Replaced

By Bailey Davis

$1 million project mostly covered by a grant; spillway is a smaller wall than reservoir's dam.

By Baylie Davis

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CHEYENNE - Work to replace the spillway at Granite Springs Reservoir is scheduled to begin this spring.

Last week, the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities approved a contract with States West Water Resources for professional services, design and construction management for the replacement of the spillway.

Replacing the spillway, which regulates the water level in Granite Springs Reservoir, will cost about $1 million. Two-thirds of that will be paid for by a grant; the other third was budgeted by BOPU, which was approved by the City Council and paid for with money from customers' water bills.

The work should begin early in the spring and be finished by July, the project manager, Jack Meena, said.

During the construction, the water level in the reservoir might be down three or four feet, Meena said.

"It should be nothing the public notices," he said.

The spillway, which is about 200 feet east of the dam, was built in 1904, said BOPU water conservation specialist Clint Bassett.

It is separate from the dam and is effectively a smaller wall, Bassett explained. If the water level in the reservoir reaches the spillway, it will empty into the spillway instead of over the dam itself.

When the dam was rehabilitated in 1985, the spillway was not. That makes it more than 100 years old.

It is built on granite and structurally sound, but there is some cracking and deteriorating concrete that needs to be replaced, Meena explained. It's preemptive maintenance.

The hydraulics also will be improved, and it will be able to handle more flow.

The next step in the process is to work with the Army Corps of Engineers and address concerns about fish and wildlife, all of which should go according to plan, Meena said.

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