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Flood Mitigation Studies: Skunk Creek, Bluebell Canyon Creek and King's Gulch



Please click on the photo above to learn more about the city's floodplain mitigation planning process. (Please note the presentation views better in Chrome than Internet Explorer.)

Latest News & Updates

Thank you to everyone who has shared information and provided feedback on this study!  We have heard from many participants that a more detailed understanding of the existing creek conditions is needed. Therefore, during the next several months, city staff will be conducting field assessments of Skunk Creek, Bluebell Canyon Creek and King's Gulch.

The fieldwork will involve:

  • walking along the creek channels;
  • taking notes and photos of the flood channel and any associated structures (i.e. bridges, pipes, fences, etc.);
  • gathering survey information;
  • noting any observed hazards (i.e. fallen trees, sediment build-up, trash, severely eroded channel banks, etc.); and
  • noting special features such as large trees and areas with superior wildlife habitat. 

Please read the access letter pdf for additional information on this assessment effort. If you are an authorized agent for a property along one of the aforementioned creeks, and you would like to authorize city staff to access the creek via your property for a field assessment, please fill out a Right-of-Entry form and return as instructed. Thank you for your consideration and assistance. 

Project Background

The City of Boulder is completing a study to identify opportunities for flood mitigation improvements for Skunk Creek, Bluebell Canyon Creek and King's Gulch. ICON Engineering has been hired as the project consultant team to assist city staff with developing and analyzing different mitigation options. Once completed, the flood mitigation plan will be a long-range planning tool to guide future flood mitigation projects in the area.

Several mitigation alternatives were developed and are being evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Life Safety (includes protecting vulnerable populations and providing emergency response capability)
  • Property Damage Mitigation
  • Water Quality Enhancement
  • Habitat Protection and Restoration
  • Operation/Maintenance Costs
  • Protection of Cultural Resources
  • Recreation Opportunities
  • Alternative Transportation Routes
  • City Construction Costs (including benefit to cost ratio)
  • Public Opinion/Community Acceptance
  • Resiliency/Adaptability to Climate Change and Uncertainty
  • Ability to Implement Quickly

Community Engagement

August 20, 2018 Water Resources Advisory Board Meeting

On August 20, 2018 the Water Resources Advisory Board (WRAB) reviewed the current alternatives under consideration and provided input on the evaluation criteria that will be used to further refine the alternatives for the Skunk Creek, Bluebell Canyon Creek and King's Gulch flood mitigation study. Please see the items below for additional information. A draft mitigation plan will be reviewed by the WRAB at a future meeting (date TBD). 

May 24, 2018 Open House

City staff, engineering consultants and a representative from the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District were available to explain the flood mitigation alternatives under consideration and answer questions about the study process, creeks and ditches, and creek maintenance. Participants were asked to provide input using an online questionnaire. Below are materials related to the Open House:

May 7, 8, 14, 2018 Neighborhood Meetings and Site Walks

The flood mitigation alternatives were discussed and participants were asked to provide input using an online questionnaire.

July 13, 2017: Skunk Creek | Bluebell Canyon Creek | King's Gulch Flood Mitigation Workshop

Generally, participants in the July 2017 workshop gave a high priority to objectives such as life safety, mitigating property damage, habitat protection and emergency response. Cost savings, recreation and accommodating new developments scored lower.Preferences for mitigation strategies varied considerably among the participants. Below are links to the materials related to the workshop:

Next Steps

City staff will be reaching out to property owners - both those with and without a flood and drainage easement, to conduct field assessments of the drainage ways. For property owners where the city does not have a flood and drainage easement on your property, please see the  Latest News section above. We are also evaluating different alternatives. As recommendations are developed, city staff will be engaging with the community for additional feedback. 

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