Deep Ward Lake Dam to Undergo Repairs

Contact(s): Kimberlee Phillips 970-874-6717

Grand Junction, Colorado, May 23, 2018 – Deep Ward Lake, adjacent to the Ward Lake Campground on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest, will be partially drained down for the summers of 2018 and 2019 to repair the dam. It is expected that enough water will remain in Deep Ward Lake to support fishing and non-motorized boating opportunities while the repairs are completed.

The work is necessary to repair a leak in the dam that poses a safety concern. Work on the Deep Ward Lake dam will include breeching the existing dam; geotechnical and forensic analysis of the soils and existing dam structure; and performing necessary repairs to restore the dam to full storage capacity. It is anticipated that the reservoir will return to normal water levels after the snow melt/spring run-off in 2020.

This project will impact recreation in the immediate area, including Ward Lake Campground. It is expected that the campground will remain open throughout the course of the project.  Heavy equipment will be active at the dam during June 2018 for breaching and testing activities, and again in the summer of 2019 when the dam will be repaired. Recreational users can expect to find a smaller pool of water in the reservoir than in typical years with a longer distance to hike from the shoreline to the water’s edge.

The Forest Service would like to acknowledge the public’s understanding and patience during this period, and requests that people refrain from approaching the construction area due to safety concerns