Restoration on Swan River Reach B is Estimated to End By The End of October

Grant Underwood

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SUMMIT COUNTY, CO - Contractors from the Open Spaces and Trails Departments in Summit County and Breckenridge City began to repair a naturalized stream leading to the Swan River near Breckenridge on July 26. This work is estimated to continue until the end of October.

Excavation of about 4800 feet of new stream channel and two and a half acres of open water, as well as final grading and revegetation of roughly 13 acres of the riparian area and five acres of uplands, will be part of “Reach B” work. The construction team will also construct a 50-foot bridge on Rock Island Road.

Summit County received a Conditional Use Permit to crush and sell gravel from the Williams Placer site in 2017, which started off the restoration.

"We are extremely excited to see this unique restoration of the Swan River moving into final construction," said Elisabeth Lawrence, Summit County Commissioner.

A team from Ecological Resource Consultants and Tezak Heavy Equipment was hired in 2019 to design and implement the restoration of Reach B of the Swan River. The team also previously restored Swan River Reach A on county and town-owned open space.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Trout Unlimited, and USDA Forest Service Hydrologists approved the design. Jordan Mead, Summit County Resource Specialist says that Reach B includes various alterations after the experience gained from Reach A.

A bigger, more gently sloped floodplain, greater variety in stream width and depth, various bank stabilization technologies, and denser planted thickets will be part of the development.

Currently, gravel crushing on the site has come to an end, and the remaining stockpiles are being carried away to make room for the new stream channel and surrounding riparian and upland habitat.

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