Aspen Journalism: Basalt Whitewater Park to Get Next Round of Upgrades

Aspen Journalism: Basalt Whitewater Park to Get Next Round of Upgrades

This aerial photograph reveals the 2 waves enjoying within the Roaring Fork Whitewater Park in Basalt. Pitkin County begins the subsequent part of park enhancements subsequent week, together with a boardwalk, which will likely be put in on the river financial institution on the left aspect of the picture, a concrete boat launch and upstream wave changes.
Wholesome Rivers of Pitkin County/Courtesy

Subsequent week, crews will start bettering Roaring Fork Whitewater Park in Basalt, together with wave changes, set up of a boardwalk, and enhancements to the Fisherman’s Park boat launch.

The river from the boat launch to beneath recreation waves will likely be closed whereas crews do what Pitkin County Wholesome Rivers calls a little bit routine upkeep within the stream.

The undertaking is the subsequent step within the county’s multimillion-dollar effort to maximise the river expertise related to its Leisure Water Proper and In-Canal Diversion (RICD). An RICD water proper is likely one of the few instruments beneath Colorado’s water regulation designed to maintain water in rivers, and it means tying a water proper to a man-made construction, equivalent to waves of a whitewater park. Pitkin County’s RICD, which dates again to 2010, is meant to create enjoyable waves of play at charges between 240 and 1,350 cfs.

The undertaking was designed by Carbondale’s River Restoration and will likely be constructed by Diggin It Riverworks of Basalt. The plan is to decrease the left aspect of the concrete blocks that kind the wave upstream, making it extra of a “inexperienced wave” which is sweet for browsing and fewer of a gap.

“It is a little bit twisted, so we’re fixing that,” mentioned Brian Barackman of Diggin It Riverworks. “We must always be capable to completely repair this wave.”

Diggin It Riverworks will even take away sediment that has collected on the left aspect of the river because of the misalignment, in addition to regulate the rocks which might be instantly downstream of the wave blocks. The aim is to decrease the downstream basin and create a hole.

This map reveals the place upgrades will happen at Roaring Fork Whitewater Park beginning August 15.
Wholesome Rivers of Pitkin County/Courtesy

That is the county’s third try to restore the sport waves, which have been constructed over the winter of 2016-17. They have been redesigned two extra instances after the waves created boat flipping holes that the so-called dangerous river runners at excessive tide.

It’s not unusual for man-made river buildings to want restore, particularly after being examined throughout spring runoff. The town of Durangofor instance, had related points with the traits of its whitewater park.

However, Barackman mentioned the work this time round was minor in comparison with the restructuring the final two instances.

Diggin It Riverworks will convey the third in a collection of adjustments to the concrete options that kind the wave of upstream play. The aim is to create a wave higher suited to kayakers.
Heather Sackett/Aspen Journalism

“What we’re doing is minor, however the steps we’re going to take will assist the efficiency of those waves,” he mentioned. “We’re simply making an attempt to drag the whitewater again a bit to create that flat space, so the kayaks have room to play and it isn’t such a steep wave coming down within the whitewater. “


The upcoming undertaking will even embrace enhancements to the Fisherman’s Park boat launch, which is at present a mud slope. It will likely be redone with concrete and will likely be closed through the work. The work would require the removing of some bushes and there will likely be mid-day visitors impacts on Two Rivers Highway when the concrete is poured.

The opposite massive enchancment to the world will likely be a 250-meter-long boardwalk that connects the Fisherman’s Park boat launch to the whitewater park alongside the precise financial institution of the river. Pitkin County officers hope the boardwalk will make it simpler for kayakers to circumnavigate the park and spot waves at excessive tide, create a spot for college teams to be taught in regards to the riparian ecosystem, and supply a extra pleasant expertise on the water’s edge, as customers will likely be separated from visitors. on the Chemin des Deux Rivières.

Brian Barackman of Diggin It Riverworks factors out the place the boardwalk will go on the precise financial institution of the river. The 250-meter-long boardwalk will join the Fisherman’s Park boat launch to the whitewater park downstream.
Heather Sackett/Aspen Journalism

“We simply need folks to make use of the park and revel in it and benefit from the river,” mentioned Lisa MacDonald, authorized assistant on the county legal professional’s workplace and Wholesome Rivers.

In-stream work will happen between August 15 and September 30, following Colorado Parks and Wildlife tips to attenuate impacts to aquatic life. Officers say they may put up signage telling boaters they can’t float within the space throughout this time. Building and work on the boardwalk at Fisherman’s Park is predicted to be accomplished by October 31.

The boat launch at Fisherman’s Park will likely be changed into a concrete floor as a part of the undertaking, which begins subsequent week. The boat launch will likely be closed throughout building.
Heather Sackett/Aspen Journalism

The undertaking is estimated at $658,000 and the boardwalk portion will likely be partially funded by a Nice Outdoor Colorado grant of $350,000; Pitkin County Wholesome Rivers will fund the rest. The unique price range for the whitewater park was $770,000.

County officers hope one other future part of riverside facilities upgrades on the whitewater park will embrace a washroom, change room, waveside seating and improved parking and entry. emergency. They put the undertaking up for competitors in June however acquired no bids.

Aspen Journalism covers water and rivers together with The Aspen Occasions. To seek out out extra, go to

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