Bureau of Reclamation Banner
Upper Colorado Region
Salt Lake City, Utah
Media Contact:
Ken Beck
970-385-6558

Released On: February 24, 2003

Reclamation To Begin Construction Of The Durango Pumping Plant In March
(DURANGO, CO) - The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that construction of the Durango Pumping Plant (DPP) - an integral component of the Animas-La Plata Project – would begin in March The pumping plant and its intake structure will be constructed in several phases on a 46-acre parcel of land that is located directly across the Animas River from Santa Rita Park.

When completed, the pumping plant will lift project water from the river up through an inlet pipeline into the Ridges Basin Reservoir. “Construction of the Durango Pumping Plant will take about five years and will require at different periods the blasting and excavation of bedrock material below the ground surface,” said Patrick Schumacher, Project Manager with the Bureau of Reclamation’s Western Colorado Area Office “Blasting activities will be carefully conducted using safety monitors, warning signs and blasting mats.

The safety of the Durango public and site workers is Reclamation’s highest priority The impacts to the community from the blasting operations – such as noise or vibration – are anticipated to be minimal All residents and businesses will receive timely notification of the actual blasting schedules and major construction activities.”

In addition to the pumping plant building itself, other features of the Durango Pumping Plant complex to be constructed over the next several years will include: the construction of two temporary dams (cofferdams)around the work areas in the river, an intake structure, a parking area, and a service yard. Short-term impacts to area residents, resulting from the construction activities, could occur from March through November 2003, and include:

  • Disruption of weekday traffic flow patterns near Santa Rita Park, along Highway 550/160, periodically (for short periods, approximately one hour per day) between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. (Reclamation is actively pursuing with the community, public officials and businesses, the best time to conduct blasting operations).  No blasting activities will occur during weekends and holidays;
  • Temporary disruption of or impacts to river-related recreation due to placement of some materials in the Animas River for cofferdam construction.
How Reclamation Will Keep the Public Informed As a means to keep the public abreast of construction activities, Reclamation has established an Animas-La Plata Project Website that can be found at (www.uc.usbr.gov) then click on the Animas-La Plata icon. In addition to the development of a Website, project officials will keep area residents informed through the use of:
  • Brochures and informational materials that will be distributed to residents and businesses in the Durango community and impacted areas;
  • A dedicated “info-line” (1-866-720-0918) that will contain recorded messages of impending construction activities, as well as provide area residents with a means to connect with project officials who can address their specific concerns;
  • Mass distribution of project construction schedules and bulletins that will inform area residents and businesses of upcoming construction and blasting activities, road detours and intermittent closures of Santa Rita Park and the Animas River;
  • An intensive public awareness campaign to inform area residents of the safeguards and state-of-the-art design practices that will be employed throughout the build-out phases of the project;
  • Regular and “as-needed” bulletins detailing construction progress and upcoming project ativities.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov.