Irrigation Ditch Headgate Improvements on the Rio de Taos Pueblo, in Taos Pueblo, NM
This project involved replacing of six (6) rock-pile diversion dams (Acequia Madre, Phia-no, C-, South Ash Pile, North Ash Pile, and the Pottery Ditches) with natural looking boulder weirs on the Rio Pueblo, at Taos Pueblo. Historically these diversion dams were constructed by hand placement of rocks, logs, tee-post & fencing, whatever could be accomplished with limited equipment. Prior consultations with local government and federal engineers had the Pueblo to considering expensive gabion or concrete dams. They wanted a more natural alternative, and were referred to Riverbend. The boulder weir approach to diverting irrigation water cost 1/4th to 1/3rd of what a gabion or concrete dam would cost, and looks like a natural system. Riverbend’s services to the Pueblo included surveying, hydrologic and hydraulic calculations, preliminary and final designs, construction cost estimates, 404 & 401 Permit application documents, project specifications, and bid documents. In the implementation phase of the project Riverbend was hired to provide construction oversight. We had construction management personnel onsite each day during construction, helping to direct the placement of large boulders, ensuring that the contractor avoided culturally significant areas, and making sure that the clean water provisions of the federal & state permits were enforced. Materials and workmanship met or exceeded NMDOT standards and specifications. After the project was completed the Tribal Council was very pleased with the project, both for function and beauty.