The Saratoga Sun -

By Mike Dunn 

Preliminary river study completed, details designs


The town of Saratoga has received the preliminary report for the Upper North Platte River Restoration Project. The 80-page report, written by Stantec Consulting and Wildland Hyrdology, details conceptual designs of the potential river restoration project.

In the report, Stantec and Wildland Hydrology listed 12 objectives they wish to complete for the final river restoration project. These objectives include designing a self-sustaining, natural, stable river; reducing the flood stage through Saratoga; reducing the sediment deposition through the reach, reducing the sediment supply within the project reach; protecting private property and public infrastructure from erosional processes, maintaining the integrity and function of bridges; protecting river corridor utilities; protecting the hot springs; improving aquatic habitat; facilitating recreational boating; enhancing the riparian corridor and improving the Pick Ditch diversion.

The report states their preliminary design has met a majority of the objectives, but additional research is needed in some areas before construction commences.

Some of the features of the conceptual design include using toe wood to prevent bank erosion and increase riparian habitat, a W-Weir rock structures to prevent excessive bridge scour on the Highway 130 bridge and placing several other structures in the river throughout town.

In an attempt to mitigate flooding in Saratoga, the conceptual design calls for a reduction in flood stage. Reducing the flood stage can be done by decreasing the excess sediment deposition, lowering the channel width/depth ration and increasing the mean velocity and stream power. However, in the report, it states while project will not increase the flood stage, “the projected reductions are minimal.” The report says “vertical constraints imposed by the utility-line crossings, and the presence of bedrock limit, the extent of the potential flood-stage reduction.” A study, which models the hydraulics of water flow through rivers, is recommended before the final report.

Mayor John Zeiger said there will likely be a public hearing over the report, but no date has been established yet.


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