Members of the Larimer County Commission may decide in February whether they like a new route being proposed for a 26-mile section of a planned water pipeline.
The City of Thornton, Colorado, with a population that has jumped from just over 82,000 in the last two decades to nearly 137,000 today, has long said that it needs to have a modern water pipeline system to adequately serve its residents.
Thornton officials have additionally said that they would like that system, transporting an average of 14,000 acre-feet annually from the Poudre River, to be operational by no later than 2025.
But where the 48-inch in diameter pipeline will be built has turned out to be a more challenging question than first imagined.
An initial proposal to have the pipeline run up and down Larimer County’s Douglas Road has been roundly criticized by area residents who say that thoroughfare is already too clogged with traffic.
Now, Thornton is proposing a new north-to-south route that will see the pipeline constructed along the much less busy County Road 56.
In an effort to win Larimer County’s approval, Thornton is additionally offering to pay $1 million to mitigate any road impact due to the pipeline’s construction, as well as $750,000 for diversion dam improvements on the Poudre River.
In response, the Larimer County Commission is scheduled to hear public comments on the revised plan in January.
If approved and finally built, the 70-mile pipeline is expected to cost over $430 million upon completion.
By Garry Boulard
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