News Archive
ATTENTION: This news article is more than 1 year old and information may be outdated.

February 10, 2017

Mitigating construction impacts to trees in Fourmile Canyon

Hello -

On Jan. 26, members of the Fourmile Canyon Drive engineering team, including Transportation Director George Gerstle and County Engineer Mike Thomas, walked both stretches of lower Fourmile Canyon Drive where the road will be permanently reconstructed to better understand and mitigate impacts to trees, bushes, and other vegetation identified for potential removal.

Each tree identified in recent draft designs was carefully inspected, and possible measures to avoid removal were discussed. The design team has now been charged with saving as many trees as possible through creative design changes, transplanting of trees, or by incorporating special construction techniques to avoid impacts. In addition, we are incorporating language in construction contracts to incentivize contractors to mitigate impacts to trees during construction. The same tree evaluation will be held with the design team in Gold Run and in upper Fourmile/Wall Street in the coming weeks and the goal will be the same; to save as many trees as possible.

While we will make every effort to mitigate impacts to trees during construction it will not be possible to avoid all tree removals. Based on early public input, the conceptual design of the road repairs were changed to avoid impacts to the canyon walls on the uphill side of the road. The recognized trade-off to these changes was that some increased impacts to creek-side vegetation were unavoidable as retaining walls would be necessary to strengthen and protect the road from future flood events. Where trees must be removed from private property, we are discussing options with the property owner. When a significant tree must be removed from the right-of-way, we will plant a new tree in the canyon, understanding that a new tree is unlikely to be the same as an old-growth tree.

It is our promise that we will make every effort to remove only those trees that absolutely must go to complete the project. We have heard concerns from both residents and visitors to the canyon about the loss of trees from the Fourmile Fire and subsequent flood events, and how that has changed the canyon’s aesthetics. We will do everything we can to minimize more changes to the character of this beautiful canyon as a result of permanent flood repairs.

Please let me know if you have questions or comments.

Have a good weekend.



Andrew Barth
Boulder County Transportation