Southern Delivery System Program
Colorado Springs
Best Project

Owner Colorado Springs Utilities
Lead Design CH2M (Pipeline Work)
Other Design Firms CDM Smith; Carollo Engineers; Dewberry; Matrix
Pump Station Contractor Archer Western Construction
Treatment Plant Design-Builder McCarthy Building Cos.
Owner's Agent MWH Americas Inc.
Other Contractors ASI Constructors; Garney Construction; HCP Constructors; Layne Heavy Civil Inc.; Western States Reclamation Inc.; Wildcat Construction

The Southern Delivery System is an $825-million regional Colorado project that moves Arkansas River water from Pueblo Reservoir to the cities of Colorado Springs and Fountain, the Security Water District and Pueblo West Metropolitan District. It is the largest single infrastructure project ever undertaken by Colorado Springs Utilities.

After nearly 15 years of planning, engineering and construction, SDS finished on schedule and more than $160 million under budget. The projected price tag was reduced from nearly $1 billion to less than $825 million, lowering the water rate increases needed to fund SDS by more than half. The first phase of the multiphase project began operations on April 28, 2016.

Key components of Phase 1 include a reservoir connection at the north outlet works of Pueblo Dam; installation of 45.4 miles of 66-in.-dia raw water pipeline; construction of three pump stations that lift the water 1,500 ft in elevation; a new 50-million-gallon-per-day water treatment and finished water pump station; and 4.6 miles of large-diameter, finished water distribution pipeline.

One of the more challenging projects in Phase 1 was a 1.4-mile portion of pipeline that traversed I-25, two railroads, a meandering creek and a floodplain. Technical challenges and property owner constraints led the SDS team to select a design-build delivery approach that encompassed a mile-long tunnel as part of the design. However, when progress on tunneling took longer than expected, a second tunnel was opened to bring production back on track. As a result, the tunnel and pipeline installation were completed on time and did not affect the program’s operational date.

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