Rossum to Wilson Ave River and Rist-Goss Ditch Improvement Project

Project Description

Completed in 2019, the Rossum Drive to Wilson Ave River Improvement project was constructed in conjunction with the Rist-Goss Ditch Improvement Project to deliver a combined two miles of river restoration along with the removal of a 6 ft high cement diversion structure. This exciting project, implemented by BTWC on City of Loveland and Loveland Ready Mix land, provides multiple benefits to both wild and human communities through Loveland. The project replaced the aging Rist-Goss cement diversion structure with natural boulders and rock that allow for fish and sediment passage and reduce recreational hazards while still diverting the appropriate amount of water through an upgraded, mechanized headgate. The project also improved bank stability, added natural habitat features to the river system including riffles and pools, reconnected the river to its floodplain, and brought in over 10,000 native plants all of which will improve wildlife habitat and river function as well as provide flood protection to surrounding lands and infrastructure. Further, long-term City Open Lands & Trails development plans include opening a portion of the property at Medina’s Crossing to the public and connecting this new Natural Area with Namaqua Park.

The project was also completed in coordination with Larimer County, who replaced the Namaqua Rd bridge to increase the bridge and roads resilience to future flood events.

Fun Fact

This was BTWC’s first ditch diversion replacement project and will be used as a model for what more natural diversion structures could look like in Colorado!

Project Photos

Rossum Wilson Before


Rossum Wilson After


Rossum Wilson Today

Rist-Goss Diversion Structure

Rossum to Wilson Ave

Project Accomplishments


Establish a riparian habitat corridor

Enhance floodplain connectivity

Create bed form diversity

Build flood resiliency

Removed 6ft vertical cement structure and replaced with natural features to improve fish and sediment passage and reduce recreational hazards

Reclaim  natural plant communities and lands damaged by flooding

Provide habitat availability for aquatic wildlife communities (mainly fish)

Learn More

Check out this time lapse photography from the construction team showing recent progress.

This video from our construction subcontractor Flywater, shows demolition of the existing Rist Goss Diversion. The Big Thompson Watershed Coalition project will be replacing the aging infrastructure with a more river and fish friendly diversion that will continue to deliver water to downstream water users.