Stream Corridor Mapping
A key component of the Big Thompson River Corridor Master Plan will be development of a comprehensive GIS database that will serve as a central data repository for the project. As an electronic planning and asset management tool, the GIS database will allow Project Team members and stakeholders to manage identified projects and associated base mapping data.
Baseline Resiliency Assessment
Once a comprehensive database and mapping of projects along the corridor has been assembled, the Project Team will conduct a resiliency assessment of existing and proposed projects along the corridor using a "scorecard" approach.
Gap analysis will be conducted at several levels by the Project Team to determine additional planning, engineering and management needs. The gap analysis will be conducted at the Corridor Level which will look at the river corridor holistically and determine how the corridor can be more inviting to the public, while at the same time enhancing ecological benefits. The Project Team will determine the responsibilities within the City for stream corridor management and maintenance and how the City can most effectively manage the corridor with existing departmental resources. At the Reach Level, the gap analysis will look at the corridor on a reach-by-reach basis to identify the character and existing functions of each reach. At this level of the gap analysis, we seek to identify additional projects that would help to improve the resiliency of the overall reach and identify additional major flood hazard reduction projects that would benefit the corridor and surrounding land uses. The Project Level gap analysis will focus on additional benefits that could be realized from individual projects related to recreation, ecology, and overall resiliency.
Planning and Engineering
The planning and engineering aspect of the project will fill in the gaps identified during the gap analysis. In areas where additional planning and engineering are needed to reduce flood hazards, improve connectivity, provide access and opportunities for public nature interaction, and/or improve ecological health the Project Team will develop conceptual plans for additional improvements. Coupled with the effort to create a “Connected Corridor,” a major part of the new planning and engineering will be at the river corridor level to find ways to create a relatable identity for the corridor and enhance public use of and appreciation for this important resource that runs through the heart of the community. Existing plans may be refined to increase benefits that may include combining additional flood hazard reductions, stream stability improvements, habitat restoration, passive and active recreational opportunities and other important features. Potential sources of funding will be identified for implementation of projects and for maintenance of the stream corridor and improvements.
A comprehensive public outreach strategy has been developed in order to reach residents of the City of Loveland and surrounding areas and to facilitate productive engagement between these residents and the project team. The strategy has given members of the public the platform to voice their opinions and ideas about design decisions along the corridor and provided the project team with valuable local knowledge in which design decisions could be based. Transparency is essential in achieving the Master Plan goals and maintaining community support for the project. Summaries of the events, site analysis, and design decisions are being published on the project website and members of the public are encouraged to contact the design team with questions and comments about the project.
Master Plan Document
The Final Report and Implementation & Corridor Management Plan will be a document that describes the master planning process, identifies improvements along the stream corridor, and presents a practical and achievable plan for funding and implementing projects over the coming decades. The Final Report will provide the City with a blueprint for enhancing the Big Thompson River corridor through Loveland and will provide information on specific projects and stream reaches that can be used to support grant applications and funding requests to help with financing implementation of the plan.
Stay tuned... more information is on the way!