Merrick & Company’s RidgeGate Stormwater Quality Project Receives APWA Award

Aurora, Colorado – February 20, 2009 –  A Merrick & Company (Merrick Civil Infrastructure) project was the recipient of an American Public Works Association (APWA) – Colorado Chapter award for excellence.  The award was made to Rampart Range Metropolitan District and R.S. Wells LLC, manager of the district, in the mid-size community category for its RidgeGate stormwater quality systems project.  Dave Frazier PE, vice president of Merrick , said that Merrick has provided drainage engineering planning, design, and construction management services for the stormwater quality system as part of the infrastructure serving this “New Urbanism” master planned community located in Lone Tree, Colorado.

In addition to the sheer size and magnitude of the area involved, this “21st Century” project was recognized for successfully addressing many significant drainage engineering challenges including accommodating four major watersheds, protecting downstream areas, and providing aesthetically pleasing solutions in keeping with the upscale community. 

Beyond the four major watersheds, the six-square-mile project includes over 20 sub-watersheds and numerous regional detention and water quality facilities.  Each watershed had to be thoroughly analyzed prior to proceeding with the engineering of final improvements.  Other features of the project include multiple regional and sub-regional detention ponds, multiple conveyance channels, multiple stormwater quality facilities, and a regional trail system.

Stormwater quality is being achieved in both the Willow Creek and Cottonwood Creek Watersheds in the West Village are through innovative designs that detain and collect contaminated water and sediment.  This includes stormwater quality detention ponds, river rock cobblestone trickle channels, outfalls to micro-pools, and in some locations, the use
of fore-bay sediment collection systems.  In addition, special isolation by-pass piping systems have been utilized to isolate and to prevent cross contamination of effluent from upstream and downstream stormwater quality facilities.

As a 21st Century project, the RidgeGate stormwater quality system sets a new reference point for future master planned communities of this same size, scope, and New Urbanism  theme.  Special attention was given to aesthetics in order to maintain the quality-of-life indicative of New Urbanism.   For instance, the main stormwater channel is contained in a 96-inch diameter, underground pipe, thus freeing up the open channels to serve as a linear park system. 

These storm water quality systems will provide positive wide-scale social, economic, and sustainable design applications.  The design of the regional storm water detention and water quality systems will ensure sustainability through the protection of downstream environments.  Designs were planned to ensure long-term protection for individual downstream watersheds from flooding erosion, sedimentation, deposition, and storm water contamination.

Detention ponds were given landscape treatments including tiered slopes with architecturally designed retaining walls.  These open areas serve as natural amphitheaters.  The regional trail system winds along the open channels to provide pedestrian access to housing and business centers as well as recreational and exercise opportunities.

In addition, the project involved cooperation among a considerable number of agencies including the City of Lone Tree, the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, multiple utility agencies, various site developers, the Rampart Range Metropolitan District, and many other agencies.

About Merrick & Company
Merrick & Company, a $75 million professional engineering, architecture, construction management, surveying, and geospatial solutions firm, serves local, regional, and national clients in the municipal, federal, and state government sectors.   Civil infrastructure services include drainage engineering, roadway engineering, utility engineering, surveying, mapping, and construction management. The firm’s most recent work includes engineering for Adams County’s 56th Ave. outfall system, the Northlands retail development, ProLogis’ Park 70 commercial development, and the Stetson Hills residential development as well as road design for Union Avenue, Dayton Street, Belleview Avenue in Greenwood Village and Chatfield Avenue in Jefferson County. The firm also provides district engineering services for the Bear Creek Water and Wastewater District and the Bancroft Water and Wastewater District.