Cerro Reservoir Outlet Works Replacement

Project Timeline


  • Design, Procurement, and Permitting: Completed December 2018
  • Project Award: January 2019
  • Construction Began: March 2019
  • Estimated Completion Date: November 2019
  • Reservoir Refilled: Spring 2020

Project Team


  • Project Designer: RJH Consultants (Englewood, CO)
  • Construction Contractor: Mountain Valley Contracting (Montrose, CO)

Project Costs


  • Design and Construction Oversight: $900k
  • Construction: $2.1M (anticipated)

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 and has been empty since mid-August in anticipation of this project.  


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