Big Thompson River Wilson to Taft Avenue Flood Recovery

« Return to Project Search

In September 2013 the Big Thompson River experienced high flows through the City of Loveland, Colorado, peaking at approximately 19,000 cubic feet per second, equal to a 100-year flood event. This event caused significant damage along the Big Thompson River corridor between Wilson and Taft Avenues, including:

  • River banks were severely eroded.

  • A pedestrian bridge abutment was destroyed.

  • Portions of a concrete trail were destroyed.

  • A 20-inch sanitary sewer pipeline was washed out.

  • A 36-inch storm sewer outlet was destroyed.

  • A large concrete irrigation diversion pipeline was exposed and damaged.

  • Floodwaters avulsed through a raised berm along a pedestrian trail.

  • The main channel widened at multiple locations.

  • Several head cuts developed within the floodplain.

After the flood, the City completed temporary emergency repairs, but very few permanent repairs were completed initially. The purpose of this project was to design and construct permanent repairs with the goal of creating more resilient infrastructure and improving the ecosystem. After analysis of multiple project alternatives, final designs included:

  • A new, longer, pedestrian bridge

  • Buried erosion protection for sanitary sewer lines

  • Replacement of a storm sewer outlet

  • Relocation and stabilization of damaged pedestrian trails

  • Aquatic habitat and riparian ecology improvements

  • Regrading to reduce damages during future floods

This project was funded in part by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Project Information

Client's Name

City of Loveland


Loveland, CO

Primary Service

River Engineering + Water Resources


Local Government