Pipeline planned near Willow Bay open space area

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By Andrea Tritschler

City council members recently approved underground oil and gas pipelines to run near the $10 million Willow Bay property, which Adams County officials plan to buy for open space.

A 10-inch gas pipeline and an 8-inch oil pipeline are planned to run 150 to 200 feet away from a 100-acre reservoir at Willow Bay, which is generally west of 136th Avenue near Highway E-470. The pipelines are planned to run from Ward Petroleum’s well pad facility on Riverdale Road one mile north of E-470 to a well pad near U.S. Highway 85 and 136th Avenue.

The two pipelines are planned run underneath the South Platte River farther along in Adams County. The pipelines are planned to be buried between 40 to 60 inches deep under roadways and land, but increase to 50 feet deep under the South Platte River.

Officials said the pipelines would not be detrimental to people or the land, according to mandated environmental reports. Fort Collins-based Ward Petroleum plan to use the pipelines “as long as there will be oil and gas production,” according to information from Discovery Midstream Partners, a company helping with the pipeline’s construction.

Construction hours are limited to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and landscaping must be replaced after the pipeline is built, Brighton city council members decided.

The E-470 Highway Authority also must approve a permit for the project, since the pipelines are planned to run through the highway right-of-way.

Adams County officials plan to buy the 174-acre Willow Bay property after receiving a $3 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado and a $3 million Adams County open space grant in November 2016.

The reservoir is home to several aquatic bird species, including white pelicans, great blue herons and raptors. It also serves as a habitat for white-tailed deer, coyotes, wild turkeys and small mammals.