Federal Funding to Improve Infrastructure at Horsetooth and Carter Lake Reservoirs


Larimer County Department of Natural Resources will benefit from funding from the Colorado Federal Lands Access Program totaling $8.6 million, with a $3 million-dollar matching commitment by Larimer County to improve and enhance visitor safety and experience at Horsetooth and Carter Lake reservoirs.

Horsetooth and Carter Lake reservoirs are two of the largest and most visited reservoirs within Larimer County as well as in the top ten statewide seeing over 1.5 million visitors each year. Larimer County Department of Natural Resources (LCDNR) has partnered with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) for this project.

The project consists of a total of ten significant improvements to road and safety in the aging infrastructure at both reservoirs. The improvements will offer better roadway accessibility as well as pedestrian/bike safety with an important safety measure being a new turn lane off County Road 38E into the South Bay entrance at Horsetooth Reservoir.

The project also includes repaving and restriping several large parking areas at both reservoirs for improved configurations for additional vehicle capacity as well as greater efficiencies for Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) boat inspections. Additionally, a multitude of existing gravel roads that access camping areas will be paved to reduce erosion and costly maintenance.

These improvements will ensure that parking areas and roadways will be able to keep up with visitor demand now and into the future by extending their useful life by 25 years or more. Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFLHD) will be the lead agency for the duration of the project with preliminary engineering expected to take place late next year through 2023, followed by construction most likely in 2025.

“This year, we had unprecedented visitation and levels of recreational use at both Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake,” said Daylan Figgs, Director, LCDNR. “We are thrilled to partner with CFLHD to improve our visitors’ experience by increasing safety and easing traffic flow,” Daylan said.

For more information regarding the infrastructure improvements at Horsetooth and Carter Lake reservoirs, visit: larimer.org/naturalresources

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