Tackling flooding issues along North Dry Gulch

To mitigate flooding issues along West Colfax Avenue and protect residents, businesses and city streets, the City of Lakewood and the Mile High Flood District are joining efforts on the North Dry Gulch Improvements.

 

Phase 1 of construction for fixing flooding issues along this gulch is beginning in January 2024 and will start along West 14th Avenue. Details about construction during this phase including a map, photos and ways to receive construction updates are available at the following website:

NorthDryGulch.com

Scroll to the Future Phases section on this page to learn about later phases of this project.

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North Dry Gulch -- dry, except when it's not

North Dry Gulch is a major drainageway that runs for approximately 1.5 miles parallel to West Colfax Avenue through Lakewood. Like other gulches running west to east through the city, North Dry Gulch remains dry through most of the year. But when it rains, it fills with water as it drains storm runoff from a 1.3-square-mile area.

An issue older than Lakewood

Prior to Lakewood's incorporation in 1969 and before modern floodplain management, West Colfax Avenue was constructed, and development occurred on most of the private properties along North Dry Gulch. Unfortunately, the natural drainage channel was not preserved and was replaced with paved streets, parking lots and buildings where the water naturally flows.

Over the years, storm drains have been constructed to carry some of the runoff flows. But the existing systems are inadequate for larger storms, resulting in street flooding that creates a risk to residents and visitors driving through the corridor. Additionally, the 100-year floodplain for the gulch -- a measure of where water would flow during catastrophic storms -- encompasses many private properties, with more than 100 existing structures currently affected by the floodplain. Property owners are at risk of flood damage and are limited in their ability to improve their properties.

Years of planning and public input

After several years of planning efforts, numerous discussions with Lakewood City Council and months spent talking with affected property owners, the project team has developed a plan to design and construct an underground system of pipes, often called conduits. The system will be able to handle storm runoff -- including from a 100-year storm -- to address flooding issues in the area.

 

Learn more about the project in the tabs below > >

Future Phases
Additional construction for this project will occur in the following steps:

  • Phase 2: Construction will occur from the Lamar Pond located near the intersection of West 14th Avenue and Newland Street, across and along Colfax, and onto Pierce Street. This work is expected to start in spring of 2024 and continue into fall 2024.
  • Phase 3: Construction will continue from Pierce to Teller streets along Lakewood Place. This work is expected to start in the spring of 2025 and continue through fall of 2025.
  • Phase 4: Construction for the final phase of the North Dry Gulch Project will be from Wadsworth Boulevard to Dover Street along West 16th Avenue and other local streets. This work is expected to run from the summer of 2025 through December 2026.

If you have questions about the future work along West Colfax, please contact Lucy East at 303-987-7973 or least@lakewood.org.

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