The South Platte River has been an iconic landmark of Denver long before ECI was founded in 1980. Throughout history, it has been used as a water source, gathering place and recreational venue. We have been fortunate to work on several projects along the South Platte River over the past decade, and in the spirit of the month of February, we’re showing some love for some of our favorite projects in the area.
South Platte River Trail, Completed in 2015
For this project, we partnered with Adams County to create a recreational trail connection along the east side of the South Platte River in Brighton, running from 108th Avenue to 120th Avenue. This remote location required site prep and demolition to clear trees and undergrowth prior to installing the concrete bike path, while maintaining erosion and sediment control. A 120-foot prefabricated bridge was installed over the river, along with a 64-foot bridge to cross the Bull Seep Canal.
Pasquinel’s Landing Park, Completed in 2016
The renovation of Pasquinel’s Landing Park was part of the City and County of Denver’s plan to improve the ecological health and accessibility to the South Platte River corridor, while providing flood control and bank stabilization. A secondary channel was created to allow access to slow moving water, and a low water crossing provided a path to a new rock jetty for fishing. Additionally, a new ADA accessible trail and other crusher fine trails with boulder seat walls wind around the turf picnic lawn and river overlook. Many of the existing, mature trees were protected during construction, while new landscaping and irrigation was installed, along with native grass areas.
Grant Frontier Park, Completed in 2016
The location of Grant Frontier Park was one of the first places gold was discovered in the South Platte River near Denver. The centerpiece of the park, a 200-year-old cottonwood tree, was protected and is now surrounded by seat boulders, a plaza and picnic area. River access was restored by constructing a secondary channel and concrete jetty, separating the main park from a new island. A new playground, shade structures, walking trails and retaining walls provide additional areas of play, and a new parking lot allows for more public access.
Confluence Park, Completed in 2017
One of our most iconic projects, Confluence Park has been dubbed “The Heart of Denver” and posed unique challenges for our team. The ADA access area of Shoemaker Plaza at Confluence Park required extensive renovations to improve safety and usability. The process started with securing and de-watering the area with sheet piling and demolition of the plaza. During the shore work, buried coal tar was discovered, requiring the client to pause construction for one year to address water treatment and filtering. Once the new plan was finalized, ECI prioritized the safe removal of the contaminated soils. The project continued with updating the ramps and the plaza, providing safe river access, and adding new landscaping and lighting.
Platte Farm Open Space, Completed in 2020
Platte Farm Open Space is just a stone’s throw away from the South Platte River and is one of our most recently completed projects in the area. In collaboration with the City and County of Denver and Mile High Flood District, we created a detention pond to help with stormwater and flooding in the adjacent neighborhood. The park also included an open space with trails, landscaping and irrigation, access roads to the neighborhood, and new on-street parking. We used multiple different shoring systems throughout the course of this project, and we built the project’s log features, which include log steppers and a 220 LF Log Border.
Arkins Promenade, In Progress
The Arkins Promenade combines recreation and the natural environment to create a linear park along the South Platte River. Once completed later this year, promenade visitors will be able to enjoy an elevated walkway with seating areas, outdoor classrooms, and viewing platforms 16 feet above the river bank. The project will also enhance natural vegetation. Stormwater will be treated using landscape-based water quality areas, which will connect vegetated swales with chase drains and shallow conveyances. Existing outfalls that served Arkins Court as a street will be reused for the stormwater from the park and adjacent roads.
Here’s to many more years of improving and enjoying the South Platte River!