In March 2019, the Town of Frisco hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking which kicked off for the long planned for “Big Dig” project at the Frisco Bay Marina, which deepened the bay to extend Frisco’s boating season and make the Marina more resilient during low water summer seasons. This “Big Dig”, along with many other significant improvements proposed for the Frisco Bay Marina, are part of the Marina Master Plan, which was approved in June 2018 by the Frisco Town Council. This complete “package” of improvements was kicked off by the “Big Dig” and was always anticipated to be completed dependent on funding and evolving community needs over at least ten years. These improvements are anticipated to positively impact the Frisco Bay Marina for generations to come. Below are current projects, completed and proposed projects, and some history on the “Big Dig”.
Marina Park landscaping improvements are scheduled to begin on April 10, 2023, with the goal of completing the work as soon as possible in the summer of 2023. This much anticipated project will add a beautiful outdoor connection between the Lund House and Frisco Bay Landing and will provide the community with a expansive new open space next to the water for recreation and relaxation. The 1.3-acre site, largely created during the “Big Dig” will consist mostly of turf framed with trails and native plantings to celebrate the mountain environment and reduce maintenance. Trails and walkways are aligned to view the surrounding mountains and promote easy wayfinding and safety. The scope of this project also includes drainage repair to prevent flooding in the fire lane near the lighthouse.
Boat ramp drainage improvements will also start in early April 2023. In 2019, Phase 1 of the Big Dig Project included the installation of the new turnaround area and dry well, located at the top of the boat ramp. This was designed in a manner that directs all the drainage from storm events and vehicles/trailers that have just launched away from Dillon Reservoir and into a storm sewer to the west. Several years of operation have passed since its installation, and the original design has not been effective. After on-site visits and a thorough analysis of data concerning groundwater levels and reservoir water levels, the Town and JR Engineering decided to rework the existing storm system by turning the dry well to a wet well and adding a sump pump to the system. It is worth noting that the design concept was discussed and approved by Denver Water as well. This will ensure that the entire system can be pumped into a detention pond, and the turnaround area can be kept free of significant flooding in the future.
Future phases will be completed progressively over the years, as conditions and budget allow. Here are some of the improvements identified by the Marina Master Plan.
The “Big Dig” started on March 4, 2019 was completed in later summer 2019 with dock work, paddle sport rack relocations and railing installations. This phase of construction was named the “Big Dig” because it involves significant excavation of the lake bed in the Frisco Bay to improve navigation; lengthen the boating season; and expand recreational facilities at the Marina. Work during the “Big Dig” phase included:
In January, ordinance 19-01 was passed on second reading by the Frisco Town Council to authorize the issuance by the Town of Frisco, acting by and through its Frisco Bay Marina enterprise, of Marina enterprise revenue bonds. These bonds were issued for a total of $5,000,000 in February 2019 to fund the Marina Master Plan projects.
Denver Water’s involvement in Frisco’s Big Dig stems from the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, signed in 2013. The agreement settled decades of legal challenges over water rights and ushered in a new era of cooperation between Denver Water and West Slope stakeholders.
The agreement called for Denver Water to work with stakeholders to improve high-country rivers and also included payments to local governments to benefit water supply and quality, the environment and recreation. In Frisco’s case, the money from Denver Water, about $700,000 since 2013 with an additional $450,000 pledged, helped pay for the Big Dig project.