April 11, 2016--City of Durango to correct river’s path near Santa Rita (Durango Herald)

The Animas River is shifting away from city intake pumps near Santa Rita Park, so the city is planning to build rock weirs to safeguard the city’s water supply. The Florida River is the city’s primary source of water, but the Animas is a secondary source the city uses throughout the summer, said Utilities Director Steve Salka. The river favored the west bank upsteam from Santa Rita Park before the Durango Whitewater Park was built. But after the park was completed in 2014, erosion accelerated and the river is changing course faster, Salka said. To fix the problem, the city is planning to build four rock weirs that will be concealed by the river, according to preliminary plans. The design is being reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The first rock structure that will stretch across the river could be 4 to 6 feet above the river floor and help ensure the water flows to the city’s intake, said city engineer Matt Holden. The structure will have a gap for boaters to pass through and will create an extra rapid for boaters headed to the whitewater park, Holden said. “It’s going to add to that park,” Salka said. Construction is slated to start in September, before work to make the whitewater park safer begins, he said. The same contractor will work on both projects, and they are scheduled to be finished before winter, Holden said. While crews are working in the river, the city plans to set up an alternative pump system to make sure it can continue to draw water from the Animas. To view the full article visit the Durango Herald.