Aquatic Organism Passage Program Success Story

Aquatic Passage Culvert Replacements, Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests (2010)

Objective and Purpose of the Project

Old culvert for Torso Creek road crossing, before construction.
Torso Creek pre-construction.

Replacement arch pipe for Torso Creek road crossing, after construction.
Torso Creek post-construction.

Six culverts that were barriers to aquatic passage were replaced with bottomless arch pipes. All culverts were on the Hahns Peak Ranger District.

Replacing five of the six culverts benefited sensitive species and all address watershed condition and public safety needs. Two culverts were replaced in a Colorado River cutthroat trout watershed with funding from Trout Unlimited’s Western Water Project/Packard Foundation and Federal Highway HTAP dollars. The third and fourth culverts benefited Colorado River cutthroat trout, mountain sucker, northern leopard frog and western boreal toad.

Funding was primarily though Federal Highway HTAP dollars and work was conducted by Routt County. The fifth culvert was in a Colorado River cutthroat watershed and was primarily funded with legacy road funding. The last culvert benefits a non-native brook trout fishery.

Methods or Techniques Used

All culverts were replaced with bottomless arch pipes. Installation was conducted by contracts (four) and Routt County Road and Bridge (two).

Realized and Expected Results

Aquatic passage was reopened to 10.2 miles of stream.


Partners associated with this project included Routt County, Colorado; Trout Unlimited; and the and U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.