A long-anticipated project that will see the construction of a 70-mile water pipeline is on the verge of getting its first official public approval.
Officials with the City of Thornton and nearby Larimer County began working together some four years ago, planning for the construction of a buried pipeline to run along the side of the east-to-west Douglas Road.
The proposed Thornton Water Project will move water from the Cache la Poudre River, through pipelines measuring 48 inches in diameter, to growing Thornton, which has seen its population explode from around 82,000 in 2000 to nearly 140,000 today.
The project, which would require a corridor some 500 feet in width and the construction of two pump stations, is expected to cost at least $430 million to build, and besides Larimer County, needs the approval of several small towns along its route.
Opposition to the project has come from area residents who have said they are worried about the possible negative impact of the pipeline corridor on property values, as well as anticipated traffic congestion during the project’s construction.
The proposed route for the pipeline, besides Douglas Road, would see it heading south along the Larimer County/Weld County line, straight into Thornton.
Following a May vote by the Larimer County Planning Commission opposing the project, members of the Larimer County Board of Commissioners are next expected to take up the question.
If all goes as planned, work could begin on the big project some time next year.
By Garry Boulard
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