Cherry Creek Restoration

Over the last 15 years, Muller has worked on many projects along Cherry Creek in the Denver area. Work began with a series of studies including:

  • Cherry Creek Basin Open Space Conservation and Stewardship Plan for the Trust for Public Lands.
  • Cherry Creek Watershed Plan for the Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority (CCBWQA).
  • Cherry Creek Corridor Restoration Study for the Town of Parker.

These studies discussed the importance that stream restoration has on water quality protection and wildlife habitat and made a strong case for mitigating degradation in Cherry Creek to restore the healthy functions of the corridor.

Muller has further developed the approaches recommended in these three studies during the design and construction of eight stream rehabilitation projects along upper Cherry Creek, shown in the figure and described on the next page.

  • Cherry Creek d/s of Arapahoe Road (1)
    Length: 5,000’
  • Arapahoe Road Bridge and Cherry Creek Restoration Project (2)
    Length: 2,000’
  • Cherry Creek at Eco Park (3)
    Length: 4,900’
  • Cherry Creek at 17-Mile House Project (4)
    Length: 2,500’ 
    This project won the Grand Award for Engineering Excellence from the Colorado Association of Stormwater and Floodplain Managers
  • Pine Lane Bridge and Cherry Creek Restoration Project (5)
    Length: 1,200’
    This project won the APWA Project of the Year Award – Utility, Drainage and Environmental for Medium Communities Category.
  • Cherry Creek at Main Street Restoration Project (6)
    Length: 5,000’
  • Hess Road Bridge and Cherry Creek Restoration Project (7)
    Length: 2,500’
  • Cherry Creek at Stroh Ranch Restoration Project (8)
    Length: 5,000’

All of these projects have taken a holistic approach to heal the degraded creek corridor, not only stabilizing the channel, but restoring the natural hydrology, water quality benefits, and habitat value of the corridor. The projects have used riffle drops and other grade control structures to raise and re-establish the baseflow water surface close to the adjacent vegetated benches of the primary channel, keeping the water table high to help sustain riparian vegetation, promoting wide, shallow flow conditions during high flow events, and keeping velocities low and infiltration into the sandy alluvium high. Historic secondary channels have been re-established, tributary channels have been enhanced, water quality detention has been provided to treat inflowing runoff, banks have been protected using bioengineering approaches, and trail connections and crossings have been created.

17-Mile House
Rehabilitation Projects Along Upper Cherry Creek