Two surface water systems and watersheds along the Interstate 70 Corridor were assessed due to impacts received by interstate system operations; Straight Creek located on the west side of the Eisenhower Tunnel and Black Gore Creek located on the west side of Vail Pass.
Provided water quality consultation to CDOT Region I concerning sediment loading and stream impacts from high-altitude highway operations. Worked closely with CDOT, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), EPA, and local government officials in developing a total maximum daily loading (TMDL) assessment for Straight Creek. Performed a watershed assessment to isolate sediment loading areas and high-impact locations. Evaluated and recommended new highway maintenance operations to reduce sediment loading. This was the first highway-related TMDL project in the Intermountain-West. Coordinated numerous stakeholder meetings and technical workshops. Assessed technical paper on impact to high alpine streams from highway operations.
Black Gore Creek
Performed an assessment of the Black Gore Creek Watershed to evaluate sediment-loading impacts to Black Gore Creek. High sediment loading into Black Gore Creek from highway operations was causing significant impacts to macroinvertebrate and fish populations. Identified and evaluated high sediment loading source areas, reviewed highway drainage problems, and developed recommendations for modifying highway maintenance operations. Represented CDOT during local watershed meetings to discuss watershed impacts and mitigation recommendations. Worked closely with CDOT engineers and maintenance professionals to address highway drainage and maintenance issues.
Project Date: 1995-1998
CDOT Contact/Reference: Terri Tiehen- CDOT Region 1/Keith Powers CDOT Region 5