Initial design work on a segment of a proposed $450 million water pipeline project in northern Colorado could begin sometime next year.
The long planned and talked-about project, which would include a pumping facility and 75 miles of underground pipelines, is intended to move water from the Poudre River to the west of Fort Collins in a southerly direction to the city of Thornton.
The proposal has garnered the opposition of some Larimer County residents concerned about the environmental consequences of the pipelines being buried on their property, as well as the Larimer County Board of Commissioners, which last year voted to deny Thornton a permit for the project.
Although what has turned into an expensive and unresolved legal dispute between Thornton and Larimer County, the city is making plans to launch an initial design phase for a segment of the pipelines.
That segment would see the $54 million building of nearly 63,000 linear feet of 48-inch steel raw water pipeline in neighboring Weld County.
According to City of Thornton documents, this segment of the project would also travel through the nearby towns of Windsor and Timnath.
Exactly when the design work will begin has not yet been announced.
Thornton, which has been slowly acquiring property for the project, has said that a new source of water is needed for a city whose population has more than doubled in the last two decades to its current 137,000 and is expected to see continued significant growth in the next several decades.
By Garry Boulard
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