Cerro Reservoir Outlet Works Replacement

Project Summary


  • Designer: RJH Consultants (Englewood, CO)
  • Contractor: Mountain Valley Contracting (Montrose, CO)
  • Final Construction Cost: $2.9M
  • Completed: August 2020

Project Overview


The City of Montrose owns and operates Cerro Reservoir located on the north side of US Highway 50 near Cerro Summit in Montrose County. The reservoir was originally constructed around 1912 and stores up to 675 acre-feet of water behind three homogenous earthen embankments. In addition to providing emergency water storage for the Project 7 Water Authority, the reservoir also provides recreational trout fishing opportunities in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The reservoir was drained over the summer of 2018 in anticipation of this project.  

In 2017 the City performed an evaluation of the dam’s outlet works utilizing divers in consultation with RJH Consultants (Englewood, CO). This evaluation concluded that the dam’s outlet works were essentially at the end of their service life, were hydraulically undersized, and in need of full replacement. In addition to the outlet works replacement, several embankment improvements were also required to address seepage, erosion, and crest-elevation issues.