Aurora Prairie Waters Project Nears Completion

May 2010 Vol. 65 No. 5

Workers placed the last piece of the Aurora Prairie Waters Project supply pipe on Thursday, February 11, 2010, nearly two years after pipeline construction began. The Prairie Waters Project will help drought-harden the city of Aurora, CO, beginning in 2011.

Workers lowered the final piece of 60-inch mortar-lined, urethane-coated steel pipe with a crane into a 10-foot deep trench near the Aurora Reservoir and welded it into place. In total, workers installed 34 miles of 60-inch pipe from Weld County to the Aurora Reservoir.

“This moment is more than the end of major activities for the conveyance pipeline,” said Darrell Hogan, Prairie Waters Project program director. “This marks a beginning for our final push to conclude construction activities by the end of the year. The project is on schedule and projected to be under budget.”

The project broke ground in July of 2007 as work began on the Peter D. Binney Water Purification Facility, located north of the Aurora Reservoir. Pipeline activities began in March of 2008 to connect the North Campus, a natural purification area located along the South Platte River north of Brighton, to the new water purification facility. The completed pipeline will initially allow for 10,000 acre-feet of water to be delivered to Aurora.

Segments
The pipeline was installed in three segments, with more than half of the pipeline following E-470 into Aurora. The first segment, constructed by Reynolds Tierdael, meandered from the South Platte River near Brighton, through areas of unincorporated Adams County and ended in Commerce City. A second segment, constructed by S.J. Louis Construction of Texas Ltd., was installed along E-470 past the Denver International Airport and into Aurora. The third pipeline segment, constructed by Garney Construction, meandered through Aurora, ending at the new
purification facility site where the final piece of pipe was installed.

In total, 22 tunnels were constructed under roadways, waterways and railroad crossings to mitigate impacts to the surrounding community and protect sensitive environmental areas. Through February, the overall project was 90 percent complete. Work is scheduled to conclude on the projects’ three pumping stations in May. Workers will then begin testing the conveyance system and delivering water to the new treatment facility.