Big Thompson River Corridor Master Plan
Client: City of Loveland
The Big Thompson Master Plan encompasses a 9-mile section of the Big Thompson River through the City of Loveland. This stretch of riverfront is an amazing resource for the citizens of Loveland, with broad undeveloped floodplains, trails, parks and open space. The 2013 flood caused damages along the corridor from undersized crossings, out of bank flows and erosion, among other factors. While some portions of the river support healthy riparian vegetation and have habitat that would be suitable for aquatic organisms, other portions are more degraded due to disconnection of the river and floodplain, bank erosion and limitations on available water due to upstream diversions that dry out the river through Loveland.
THK assisted the City of Loveland to develop a long-term vision for the Big Thompson River Corridor and to develop plans for enhancements that can be implemented in a phased manner in the coming decades. A major objective of this effort was to increase the benefits that the river and corridor provide to the citizens of Loveland by providing additional open space and recreational opportunities and enhancing natural habitat for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, all while improving the level of flood protection and resiliency.
Through this planning and engineering effort, the City intends to transform the corridor into a landmark for the City, a recreational destination, a haven for wildlife in the midst of an urban environment and a more resilient river corridor. Most importantly, the River Corridor Master Plan will build on recent flood recovery efforts to identify potential projects that will reduce the flood hazards along the Big Thompson River, and provide additional protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the community. Through this project, the ultimate vision for the Big Thompson River corridor through Loveland is a fully “Connected Corridor.” This Corridor includes a network of interconnected greenways, parks, open space and natural areas that provide the public with opportunities for recreation and interaction with the river and nature.