Colorado Public Works Journal, Fall 2022

14 Colorado Public Works Journal LARGE COMMUNITY DISASTER OR EMERGENCY CONSTRUCTION The Pine Gulch Fire was started by a lightning strike on July 31, 2020, approximately 18 miles north of Grand Junction. The fire rapidly spread through grass, sage, pinyon juniper and fir forest. The fire burned a total of 139,007 acres. As a result, the USDA and the Baer Team completed an assessment of the burn area and found areas that could benefit from remediation projects to protect life and property. Mesa County proceeded with one of the recommended projects, the Pine Gulch Roan Creek Bank Stabilization Project. This project received an Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) grant from the USDA to support 80% of the design and construction cost. Mesa County’s design build met the deadline of the EWP and fall monsoons. The project was aimed at: • Stormwater runoff peak flow and volume increase after fire in the upstream watershed. • Homes and properties were at high risk above a steep bank. The homes were already experiencing erosion and could increase with peak flows due to the fire. Mesa County - Pine Gulch Roan Creek Bank Stabilization Project • Dense vegetation was choking the channel and the floodplain can catch debris and worsen flooding effects. In a short timeframe, Mesa County, and their contractor were able to complete a design build project that completed the project within the time restraints, completed a variety of bank protection including riprapping the channels, installing 24” and 36” boulder walls along the channel, realigning the channels to minimize further bank erosion, and removal of dense vegetation. This project was able to meet criteria and a fast deadline for design and construction, as well as all environmental regulations and protect homes from future flood events due to the aftermath of the Pine Gulch Fire.

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