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Construction begins on $11-millon Waterworks Park project

November 9, 2023
Photo by Mike Sweeney/

Construction is beginning on Waterworks Park, Pueblo Water’s $11-million rehabilitation project of the Southside Diversion Dam just north of City Park. The project will improve safety on the Arkansas River by creating a passageway that will allow users to ride the river unimpeded.

Holcim WCR is the contractor of the Waterworks Park project. Visitors near the area should use caution during construction, which is expected to take 10-12 months.

“We understand that there may be some temporary inconveniences to those who frequent this area along the Arkansas River,” said Pueblo Water TD&E Division Manager Scot Burbidge. “We hope to minimize the time river goers are inconvenienced.”

By rehabilitating the SDD and the raw water Intake facility just north of City Park, and by improving the surrounding areas, river users will be able to traverse the Arkansas River from below Pueblo Dam to near Runyon Lake.

Waterworks Park project objectives include:

  • Making this reach of the Arkansas River safer
  • Allowing the river to become fully navigable from below Pueblo Dam to near Runyon Lake
  • Creating a fish passage for migration
  • Providing additional recreational opportunities
  • Creating overall better river health
  • Keeping Pueblo Water’s redundant southside intake functional and allow the supply of the Riverside Dairy Ditch irrigation flow

Pueblo Water’s primary purpose for the project is the safety of the community. The SDD has been the site of multiple accidents and fatalities through the years.

Modifying the diversion dam, an area that currently is unnavigable, would help minimize risks and hazards for those in-stream river users and on-land visitors as well. At the same time, the rehabilitated area would allow users to ride the river without stopping.

Pueblo Water is paying for most of the project. The City of Pueblo, Pueblo County and the Conservancy District also have committed financially.

“This is a tremendous quality-of-life project – to have that entire reach of the river navigable,” Pueblo Water Executive Director Seth Clayton said. “This is something that Puebloans and visitors alike will enjoy for years to come.”

Visit for project updates and area closures.

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