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2021 Year In Review#

See below for highlights from 2021.

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Project Timeline#

2021 permitting schedule

Federal permitting shown on the schedule above includes NEPA activities, and other permitting includes the 401 Certification, 1041, and Fish & Wildlife Mitigation Plan. Variances in color indicate potential variations in the schedule timeline. 

Ongoing Permitting Activities#

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Work continued for the preparation of a final EIS from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) (expected in 2023).

401 Water Quality Certification
Development and approval of approach for water quality and temperature analyses.

Fish & Wildlife Mitigation & Enhancement Plan (FWMEP)
Development of mitigation and enhancement measures related to enlarged reservoir operations, wildlife, fish passage, stream restoration and instream flow protection.

Supplemental Activities#

Endangered Species Act: Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse

  • Evaluation of potential mitigation sites.
  • Draft mitigation plan developed.

National Historic Preservation Act
Work toward compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act was conducted with Class III Cultural resources surveys of areas that will be disturbed.

Collaboration with CSU

  • Development of conceptual adaptive management framework for mitigation.
  • Sediment study at Halligan Reservoir.

Students collect samples as part of a sediment study in partnership with CSU to analyze
sedimentation rates, wildfire frequency, and other information about the North Fork of the
Poudre River basin.

Risk Planning#

Risk planning was conducted to identify uncertainties that could impact the project cost in categories such as:

  • Design and construction
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Real estate acquisition
  • Permitting
  • Environmental mitigation

Each identified risk was assigned a cost impact and probability of occurrence to aid future cost planning.

Outreach and Communications#

In 2021, there were more than 102,000 CUSTOMER ‘TOUCHPOINTS’ via website visits, ads, video views, newsletters, stakeholder communications, bill inserts, social media, events, and presentations.

Right of Way Acquisition#

Fort Collins Utilities is working with landowners to acquire easements for three phases of the project:

  1. Permitting and design (We are here.)
  2. Construction
  3. Operations and maintenance

Work during 2021 focused on the acquisition of easements for phase 1.

Design and Construction#

  • 15% design has been completed.
  • Four dam concepts for the enlarged Halligan Reservoir were evaluated.
  • Additional field investigation of subsurface conditions.
  • An Independent Cost Estimator was selected to independently develop cost estimates for construction as part of the City's commitment to robust planning.
  • A Technical Advisory Committee was formed and is composed of subject matter experts who will independently review the design of Halligan dam and related infrastructure to ensure safety and the quality of the design.

Looking Forward: What's Happening in 2022#

Permitting- FWMEP
The Fish and Wildlife Mitigation and Enhancement Plan will be finalized with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

Get Involved: Review the City's proposed environmental mitigation & enhancement measures in late 2022 and comment at future CPW commission meetings.

Permitting - Continued Work

  • 401 Water Quality Certification
  • Preparation of final EIS
  • Endangered Species Act
  • National Historic Preservation Act
  • Ongoing data collection and analyses


  • 30% design of the dam will be complete.
  • The design will be reviewed by the Technical Advisory Committee and State Engineer's Office.
  • Additional data collection.

Cost Update
A formal cost update will be developed after 30% design and additional environmental mitigation planning is complete.