When finally open to recreational boaters, the stretch of Gunnison River past Hartland Diversion will still bear the upstream warning of "Extreme Danger."
Fears of potential liability have kept any of the agencies involved in the Hartland Diversion bypass project from authorizing removal of the riverside sign warning of danger ahead.
"The in-channel work is 99 percent completed," said Olen Lund, county commissioner and board chairman of Painted Sky, the Hartland project's pass-through funding agency. "About all that's left is some stream bank stabilization work."
But when the project is completed, the danger sign will remain at least for now, and maybe longer.
Major funding for the project came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that wanted a passage structure placed in the river to facilitate movement of native fish populations.
According to a Trout Unlimited official, though there was no funding in the original project for a boating passage, a downstream rafting chute was added to the design.
Designers have included other features that indicate the proper channel for boaters to take. The Hartland Diversion itself was backfilled with boulders intended to mitigate any potential danger to rafts that might drift too far north in the river channel and over-top the structure.
Still, there is always the chance that some unintended, unforseen event can happen. If it does, no one at this point apparently wants to have been the one who removed the upriver "Extreme Danger" warning.blog comments powered by Disqus