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Alva B. Adams Tunnel

  • Construction of Adams Tunnel

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    Workers used railed carts like the one shown here to excavate the 13.1-mile Alva B. Adams Tunnel. Construction of the tunnel, which would become the largest water diversion project in the state, lasted between 1940 and 1944.
    Construction of Adams Tunnel
  • Map of Colorado-Big Thompson Project, East Wing

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    The Alva B. Adams Tunnel was the linchpin of the controversial Colorado-Big Thompson Project, a massive feat of engineering that redirected millions of gallons of Colorado River water from the Western Slope to farms and subdivisions along the Front Range.
    Map of Colorado-Big Thompson Project, East Wing
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References: 

Robert Autobee, “The Colorado–Big Thompson Project,” Bureau of Reclamation (1996).

Barry R. Nehring, Brian Heinold, and Justin Pomeranz, “Colorado River Aquatic Resources Investigations – Federal Aid Project F-237R-18,” Colorado Division of Wildlife (June 2011).

Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District

Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, "Windy Gap Firming Project," 2016.

Gregory M. Silkensen, “Technical Report no. 61: Windy Gap: Transmountain Water Diversion and the Environmental Movement” (Fort Collins: Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, Colorado State University, August 1994).

Daniel Tyler, The Last Water Hole in the West: The Colorado–Big Thompson Project and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1992).

United States Congress, Senate Document 80, “Synopsis of Report on Colorado–Big Thompson Project, Plan of Development and Cost Estimate Prepared by Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Interior,” 75th Congress, 1st session (June 15, 1937).

Additional Information: 

Colorado–Big Thompson Project, US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.

Norris Hundley Jr., Water and the West: The Colorado River Compact and the Politics of Water in the American West (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).

Windy Gap Firming Project, Final Environmental Impact Statement, US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.

Map: