Design work underway for whitewater park improvements — The Gunnison Country Times #GunnisonRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver

Photo credit:
Granger Meador via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmeador/7410961658

Click the link to read the article on the Gunnison Country Times website (Bella Biondini). Here’s an excerpt:

Gunnison Waves and other river users have asked local leaders to add a waveshaper to the whitewater park — a device that is prized by surfers for its ability to create a consistent wave when flows vary along the river.

Gunnison County, along with the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, are collecting feedback from local surfers and other river users on proposed improvements at the Gunnison Whitewater Park. Conceptual plans include moving and replacing the second wave or “Drop #2,” and adding an adjustable waveshaper. Although a waveshaper is widely supported by the river community, county staff are still exploring its feasibility due to staffing issues and added costs.

McLaughlin Whitewater, the design and engineering firm the county works with to assess conditions at the park, has been monitoring Drop #2 yearly since wave three was rebuilt in 2015 due to scouring underneath. According to project manager Ben Nielsen, although the current condition of Drop #2 does not pose a safety risk to surfers, it is worsening and following the same trajectory as wave three.

Jason Lakey, one of the original founders of Gunnison Waves, said the drop first shifted in 2019 after a big snow year. Users began to notice a decrease in the waves performance in 2020, where waves were harder to catch and stay in, he said.

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