Denver — Black & Veatch was selected to provide program management services to Denver Water on the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project. The project is a major component of the utility’s comprehensive strategy to deliver safe, reliable water service and provide resilience to its system in the face of future threats including floods, wildfires and the potential impacts of climate change. The expansion will more than double current reservoir capacity and improve water supply dependability for the 1.4 million people Denver Water serves in the metro area.

As Owner’s Representative, Black & Veatch will assist Denver Water with project controls – including schedule, cost and document control, and eventually construction management – starting in May 2017 and extending through the first filling of the reservoir, expected in April 2026. Once permits are secured, dam construction is expected to occur in three phases over a total of four to five years.

“Black & Veatch is supporting Denver Water’s vision of not only ensuring system resilience, but of providing clean, affordable and reliable water to customers for generations to come,” said Greg Zamensky, project manager for Black & Veatch. “The Gross Reservoir Expansion Project builds on our deep experience in supporting utilities as they execute significant, long-term projects.”

The project will raise the height of the existing 340-foot dam by 131 feet, increasing reservoir capacity from 42,000 acre feet of water to 119,000 acre feet of water. The project will also increase the total output of Gross Dam’s hydroelectric power plant from 7.6 megawatts to 8.1 megawatts.

“Back in the 1950s, the existing Gross Dam was designed and built to accommodate subsequent raises like the one we’re planning today,” said Jeff Martin, program manager for the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project. “Just like the current dam is a strong foundation for our future work, Black & Veatch’s resources and expertise will build on our existing project management team and will contribute significantly to delivering a successful project for Denver Water’s customers.”

The project, with an estimated cost of $380 million, will make Gross Dam the tallest dam in Colorado and will increase the dam to 1.5 million cubic yards of concrete, about half the volume of Hoover Dam. The expansion will also provide environmental benefits, with agreements in place to protect the South Boulder Creek and the Fraser, Williams Fork, Blue and Colorado rivers.