Residents will have to wait a few months more before they can use Harriman Lake Park, which has been closed since November 2011 for a project to rebuild the dam.
The park, at South Kipling Parkway and West Quincy Avenue, includes a 1.4-mile trail around the lake. Foothills Park & Recreation District has leased much of the park from Denver Water since 1995. Foothills has also leased 11 acres southwest of the lake from Jefferson County Open Space for 15 years.
“Seasonal weather can affect the completion date, but right now the project is on track to be completed by Feb. 1, 2013,” said Travis Thompson, spokesman for Denver Water.
The park was originally scheduled to reopen this month.
Denver Water has been working to expand the reservoir from 55 acres to 66 acres. The lake is used to irrigate multiple areas, including Fort Logan National Cemetery, Jefferson County Public Schools property and Pinehurst Country Club.
Because of the dam’s original design — it was built during former President Ulysses S. Grant’s second term in office — it had a water-level restriction that prevented Denver Water from increasing the lake’s capacity.
Once the expansion is complete, the water level in the reservoir will be 3 feet higher. The expansion will flood several acres of wetlands. Denver Water is replacing the lost area with 7.8 acres of wetlands, along with other habitats.
“The initial construction is completed for the restoration of 7.8 acres of wetlands. Fish spawning beds and underwater structures have been completed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife,” Thompson said. “Another season of irrigation will be required to sustain the wetlands plantings.”
Along with expanding the capacity, Denver Water is working to bring the 138-year-old dam up to code.
“There is still construction work left on the dam,” Thompson said. “Denver Water and the state engineer have been inspecting the dam throughout construction, and the state engineer will review and approve our construction inspection records before we begin filling the reservoir.”
Contact Ramsey Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 22.