March 1, 2022

Bridge to Future Chimney Hollow Recreation Facilities Takes Shape

In what was described as a “milestone” day, crews installed a bridge on Feb. 9, 2022, to connect two sections of a new Larimer County access road at the Chimney Hollow Reservoir construction site.

The bridge crosses over the Colorado-Big Thompson (C-BT) Project’s Bald Mountain Penstocks above Flatiron Reservoir. It will provide reservoir construction access during the next three to four years before becoming part of the entry road to Chimney Hollow’s future recreation and open space facilities.  

After construction of Chimney Hollow Reservoir is complete in 2025, Larimer County will manage recreation activities at the site, which are expected to include wakeless boating, fishing, trails for biking and hiking and other outdoor opportunities.  

“Larimer County Department of Natural Resources is pleased to partner to provide future public recreation access at Chimney Hollow Reservoir and at the county’s adjacent Chimney Hollow Open Space,” said Meegan Flenniken, Larimer County Land Conservation, Planning & Resource Program Manager. According to Flenniken, a future management planning process will identify specific recreation opportunities and resource management goals.

A bridge was installed over the iconic C-BT penstocks connecting two sections of the Larimer County access road at the future Chimney Hollow Reservoir.

The new access road to those future recreation and open space facilities runs south off Larimer County Road 18E, up to the west side of the reservoir. The new bridge – made up of 14 concrete sections that each weigh 52,000 pounds – was manufactured off-site by ConTech Engineered Solutions. Sterling Crane, the subcontractor hired by Barnard Construction Co. Inc., safely set and installed the bridge in one day, demonstrating well planned and executed construction. In addition, the intersection of the new access road and LCR 18E will be upgraded to include dedicated turn and merge lanes to improve safety and reduce local traffic impacts.  

The C-BT Project’s Bald Mountain Penstocks the new bridge crosses have been a fixture in the Chimney Hollow valley for decades, delivering supplemental water to more than 600,000 acres of irrigated farmland and more than 1 million C-BT and Windy Gap Project water users in Northeastern Colorado.