Fraser River Sediment Project

Purpose of Project

The purpose of the settling pond is to trap traction sand applied to the highway, as well as normal and eroded sediment that collects in the Fraser River below Berthoud Pass. In rivers, trout need cold, clear water with a loose, rocky bottom. Sediment washed down from Berthoud pass ends up in the Fraser River, choking spawning gravels and other aquatic habitats, and threatening overall stream health.

In addition, the excess sediment clogs Winter Park Water and Sanitation District drinking water intake pipes and Winter Park Resort’s diversion pumps. By collecting and removing the excess sediment, project partners are restoring the proper functioning of the Fraser River ecosystem.

The Fraser River Sediment Pond is located on the east side of U.S. Highway 40, near the entrance of the Mary Jane ski area.


Reconstruction of the Fraser River Settling Pond took place in 2011. Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Denver Water, Town of Winter Park, and Grand County signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on June 8, 2011, to reconstruct the pond, provide long-term maintenance, and sediment removal. This project is a multi-jurisdictional collaboration and partnership that also includes the USDA Forest Service-Sulphur Ranger District, East Grand Water Quality Board, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Before and After Images

Check out the before and after images here.