In 2003 the Grand Ditch, a trans-basin water-diversion canal in the northwest corner of Rocky Mountain National Park, breached its bank. The breach saturated an adjacent hillslope which gave way, sending a massive mud- and rock-slide down and into the headwaters of the Colorado River. Approximately 22 acres and 1.5 miles of stream, riparian, upland, and wetland habitat were adversely impacted.

The primary purpose of this project was to design a permanent and robust repair for the irrigation ditch and adjacent access road and hillside. Project design required a multi-disciplinary approach and integrated numerous elements including: precast concrete box culverts with wingwalls, micropiles, placement of a reinforced wire mesh soil-nailed slope across the escarpment, a mechanically stabilized earth wall segment; and road realignment. The remote project location in environmentally sensitive wilderness area located at 10,200 feet above sea level presented several design and construction challenges. Accelerated construction methods were incorporated into the design to avoid conflicts with weather and road closures.

Key Services

  • Conducted site topographical survey using terrestrial LiDAR scanning
  • Evaluated geophysical slope and provided geotechnical analysis
  • Provided preliminary schematic design and value analysis
  • Prepared construction documents
  • Provided construction management services

Value Added

Project scope included leading and administering a value analysis (VA) workshop and completion of a detailed VA Report. The Value Analysis (VA) process involved analyzing multiple design solutions and evaluating them by a team, to reduce costs and improve design function or both. The Value Analysis exercises followed a “Choosing by Advantages” plan which step-by-step, methodically evaluated the designs in a range of areas. Designs were broken down and reviewed as a number of assemblies. Ultimately, the most superior design solution prevailed and continued on to full design development.