Southern Delivery System Water Project Completes 50-Mile Pipeline

The Southern Delivery System (SDS), one of the largest water projects under construction in the western United States, will complete its 50 miles of pipeline construction this month.

Last week, community leaders, contractors and partner communities celebrated the end of pipeline construction at a site adjacent to a recently completed pipe-tunneling project. One of the most challenging sections of SDS construction, the mile-long tunnel was bored 85 ft below Interstate I-25, Fountain Creek and two sets of railroad tracks. Installing the pipe in a tunnel versus a surface trench saved about $10 million and significantly reduced environmental impacts. Watch the tunneling video:

More than 7,000 50-ft sections of mostly 66-in. diameter, welded-steel blue pipe were installed over the past three and a half years in areas that included residential neighborhoods in Pueblo West. Extensive re-vegetation has been done throughout the project to restore land disturbed by construction.

The conclusion of pipeline construction brings the $841 million project ? including $204 million of that spent on pipe and installation ? one step closer to delivering water next year. The pipe will transport water stored in Pueblo Reservoir north to Colorado Springs, the second largest city in the state, and to the growing southern Colorado communities of Pueblo West, Fountain and Security, serving as many as 750,000 residents through 2040.

?The pipe is the main artery for this water project and we are extremely pleased with how the pipeline construction went,? said John Fredell, SDS program director. ?This is our final year of construction on SDS and we?re projecting completion nearly $150 million under budget.?

Northwest Pipe Co. manufactured the SDS pipe. Three prime contractors selected through competitive bid processes managed the installation of different sections through Pueblo and El Paso County. Garney Construction installed 23 miles of SDS pipeline in various areas, including work at Lake Pueblo State Park, Pueblo West, at the tunnel location, and in Colorado Springs. Pueblo County-based ASI/HCP Constructors built the Pueblo Dam Connection and installed nearly five miles of pipe through Lake Pueblo State Park and about nine miles of pipe in southern El Paso County east of Fountain; and Layne Heavy Civil put in about eight miles of pipe in Pueblo County and six miles in El Paso County.

Approximately 140 local businesses supported the three prime contractors on the pipeline construction.
Through the end of 2014, an estimated $514 million has gone to more than 390 businesses and entities in Colorado for planning and work on SDS.?Of that, $316 million was spent in southern Colorado.
?Over the last three years, the sight of blue pipe on semi-trucks heading south meant prosperity for local businesses and a more secure water future for Colorado Springs and its partners? communities,? said Fredell.

Construction is underway on a $125-million water treatment plant and finished water pump station that will be able to treat 50 million gallons of water a day. Three raw water pump stations, which will transport water 1,500 ft in elevation from Pueblo Reservoir, also are under construction. Construction on these facilities is expected to be complete by the end of 2015.

For more information about the Southern Delivery System, visit

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