GREEN RIVER– The Green River City Council unanimously approved to enter a consulting agreement with S20 Design and Engineering to evaluate two river drop structures in the Green River.
The drop structure near Expedition Island and the structure located next to the former Gorge Rock will both be evaluated by expert consultation to come up with possible solutions for the issues the structures have been facing and causing.
The city will pay $12,700 for the consulting services.
The drop structure near Expedition Island was originally established in 2001 and was later rehabilitated in 2009 through a Wyoming Business Council grant to create the kayak feature.
“In spring of 2014, high river flow washed out the south river bank creating a diversion around the structure,” Brad Raney, Green River Director of Parks and Recreation said. “The diversion channel is still there and erodes the bank of Riverside Park located on the south side of the drop structure.”
The structure located west of Green River out near Jamestown was completed in 2010, with modifications made in 2013. According to Raney, this structure was made possible through a partnership with the Greenbelt Task Force, US Department of the Interior, Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resources Trust, and several volunteers.
“In the Spring of 2017, high water flow breached the south bank just west of the structure, allowing water to flow uninhibited into the wetlands area, damaging the dike system in the wetlands retention pond,” Raney said.
The agreement the council approved will allow S20 Design and Engineering to provide expert consultation on potential fixes or modifications with associated costs. No work will be done on the drop structures at this time.
Council Questions and Concerns
Councilman Gary Killpack pointed out that S20 Design and Engineers appears to have a lot of experience in designing kayak parks. He asked if a kayak park is the goal for these structures.
Raney assured the council that a kayak park is not the goal. Raney explained that they are simply looking to fix some of the problems and save the city’s investment in the structures.
Councilman Mike Shutran questioned why the city should consult withe S20 instead of a different firm.
“There’s quite a few firms out there that take care of this same exact thing, but they look at it from a multi-use perspective which is something I think we failed on the first time we set this up,” Shutran said.
Shutran wanted to ensure the structures would be friendly to fishermen and rafters, rather than favoring kayaks.
The council and Mayor Pete Rust told Raney they would like to have a workshop to go over S20’s findings once the consultation is completed.