Contractors working for the City of Montrose have started to place the new outlet pipe through the bottom of Cerro Reservoir this week, according to the city.
The city owns and operates Cerro Reservoir located on the northern side of U.S. 50 near Cerro Summit in Montrose County. Through a land-swap agreement, Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages the site as a state wildlife area, although the reservoir remains a municipal water source.
The city began a two-year replacement of the century-old dam in 2018. At the time, the reservoir stored up to 675 acre-feet of water behind three homogenous earthen embankments situated across natural drainage paths on its eastern, western, and southern sides.
The reservoir provides emergency water storage for the Project 7 Water Authority and recreational trout fishing opportunities. The original construction of the dam is estimated to have occurred around 1912 with two expansion projects occurring around 1953 and 1966. The dam was essentially at the end of its service life and in need of replacement.
The work this week is an ongoing effort to replace the original 8-inch diameter outlet pipeline with a larger diameter pipe.