From the city website:
“In April 2016, the City began a project to evaluate the feasibility of reducing flood risks immediately up and downstream of Highway 287 (Lincoln Avenue) crossing of the Big Thompson River. This is a long-standing problem area brought to a critical level by the 2013 Flood.
The purpose of the feasibility study is to determine the level of improvements needed to maximize benefits in this reach of the Big Thompson River at a reasonable cost and provide recommendation whether the City and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) should move forward to replace the Highway 287 bridge. It is also the next step taken from the Hwy 287 Strategic Plan, which contained the input of many businesses and citizens in the area.
A draft Highway 287 Flood Mitigation Feasibility Study is currently under review with a final report expected by March 17, 2017. The study showed replacing the bridge with a new 240-foot span structure and significantly improving the river’s floodplain capacity up and downstream of the bridge are both necessary in order to provide a substantial reduction in flood risk. Replacing the bridge is necessary, but it has little value on its own without also constructing floodplain capacity improvements. The proposed project would currently remove 47 insurable structures from the floodplain, remove 23 from the floodway, increase the development potential for 43 properties, allow for 20,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to flow under the new bridge (the current bridge capacity is only 4,500 cfs), and prevent overtopping of Highway 287 in a 100-year flood event. The total cost, which is still under review, was estimated at $16.9 million, including design, permitting, right-of-way/easement acquisition, construction, anticipated inflation, and a 25 percent contingency.”