CREEDE— The largest project happening in Creede this summer is the rehabilitation of the flume that runs through town from north to south. Plans to revitalize the structure of the flume have been underway for several years and it wasn’t until the town received grant funding through the Department of Local Affairs, that they were able to make the dream a reality.
The project is now nearing the end of the first phase which was to divert the water from Willow Creek that flows through the flume into a pipeline that runs along the eastern edge of the culvert. “First of all, I would like to thank everyone for all of your patience with traffic and access during the installation of the diversion pipe for the flume project. The majority of the pipeline work is completed, and we will be focused on the northern portion of the flume this week,” said Guinevere Nelson-Freer, project manager.
Nelson-Freer explained the last portion of the first phase of the project and what residences and guests could expect for the remainder of the pipeline installation stating, “Cliff Street and Main Street, north of the Mineral County building, will be closed intermittently during the final installation of the pipe from behind the theatre to the top of the flume. Loma Street will be open, and local traffic will be allowed access to Cliff Street residences.”
Once the water is diverted out of the flume and into the pipeline, crews will begin the process of grouting holes, fixing leaks, cleaning the flume and spraying four inches of shotcrete. The shotcrete will be about a foot and a half up the side of the flume, which as Nelson-Freer explained previously, was all the budget for the project would allow
Beginning this week, June 25, crews will be installing a cofferdam at the top of the flume, to create the dam that will divert water. “We anticipate having the water diverted from the flume by June 29,” stated Nelson-Freer.
With the project on schedule, the work on the flume is expected to be finished by September. Once the rehabilitation portion of the project is complete, Willow Creek will be diverted back into the flume and the pipeline will be removed. Originally, the city had hoped to have a way to divert Willow Creek out of the flume on a regular basis in order to do regular maintenance throughout the years, but due to the cost of having a permanent way to divert the water, were unable to do so.
“We want everyone to know that the pedestrian bridges are open again. We have installed steps and ramps to allow access over the pipeline,” said Nelson-Freer. Though the project still has a long way to go, the completion of the first phase marks that the end is in sight.