Swan River Restoration Project Blog

Updates on construction and project milestones.

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Jun 07

Swan River Restoration Project Update - Plans for 2017 and Site Visit Opportunity

Posted on June 7, 2017 at 11:21 AM by Jason Lederer

With the snow finally melting from the Swan River Restoration Project site, we are looking forward to another productive year continuing efforts to restore the Swan River Valley. Perhaps the most exciting news is that, since the Summit County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) authorized the Open Space and Trails Department (OST) to solicit bids from gravel contractors to continue processing and removing dredge rock from Reach B, we have completed the bidding process and are entering into a lease agreement with the selected contractor. Reach B is currently covered with at least 195,000 cubic yards of dredge rock that need to be removed before channel, riparian, and upland restoration work can occur. The contractor will begin processing and removing dredge rock under Summit County’s Conditional Use Permit (CUP) starting this summer. Per the terms of this lease agreement:

  • Summit County and the Town of Breckenridge will collect royalty payments on all material leaving the site, which will be dedicated towards the restoration of public Open Space in the Swan River Valley (Reach B)
  • the contractor will rough grade the future stream channel, riparian, and upland areas
  • the contractor will produce material required for constructing the future stream channel
  • the contractor will import and place suitable soil for the riparian and upland restoration areas
  • Summit County and the Town of Breckenridge will be able to purchase manufactured materials for things like road base at a reduced cost compared to the open market
The lease agreement also requires the contractor to:
  • complete all gravel milling activities by May 3, 2020 (expiration date of the CUP),
  • gravel removal operations by May 3, 2021, and
  • adhere to the same Travel Management Plan as applied to the recently completed Swan River Reach A restoration project site (e.g., hours of operation, haul route, etc.).

Starting the week of June 12th, we will also begin installing the first restoration plantings. Working with a 10 person group from Rocky Mountain Youth Corp, over 600 small container plants procured from the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery will be installed in planting pockets across the site. More substantial planting will occur in August of this year by Summit County’s design-build team of Ecological Resource Consultants/Tezak Heavy Equipment (ERC/Tezak). The Summit County Resource Allocation Park is also generously donating several cubic yards of compost to help provide nutrients for the plantings while they are becoming established. 

If you would like to learn more about Swan River Restoration Project plans for the 2017 field season, we will be holding an onsite open house on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the intersection of Rock Island Road and Tiger Road to talk about the project. The open house will include a short introduction, followed by an opportunity to walk around a portion of the site and ask questions.

We are also excited to share some aerial images taken early last week by Jeremy Webber, Research Scientist and Program Manager at the Center for Aerial Unmanned Systems Imaging (CAUSI) at Indiana University ~ Purdue University, Indianapolis. These are the first aerial images of the completed channel. As an avid fly fisherman with a research background in watershed management, and stream and floodplain restoration, Mr. Webber is excited to continue studying this unique stream restoration project and share his research and results with others in the field. The Swan River Restoration Project is already proving to be an attractive research site for numerous organizations, from Summit High School, to research institutions throughout the United States and beyond.


information about Swan River Restoration Project is available at RestoreTheSwanRiver.com as well as on the Open Space and Trails Special Projects web page. If you have additional questions about the restoration project, you can contact Summit County Open Space and Trails Director Brian Lorch, or Open Space and Trails Senior Resource Specialist Jason Lederer, or call 970.668.4060.