Willet Ditch reopens in Animas Park after diversion gates are repaired
FARMINGTON — Workers from the Farmington Electric Utility System are expected to wrap up work April 1 on a project that called for repairing some of the diversion gates on the Willet Ditch in Animas Park.
City spokeswoman Georgette Allen said the project, which began on March 14 and led to the construction of temporary diversion dams on the river to halt the flow of water through the ditch, said the work was performed because some of the aging gates weren't operating properly.
The diversion dams were removed earlier this week, and the ditch has been refilled with water.
The project included creating a ramp at the headgates for access and rebuilding two diversion gates, she said. Once the work began, workers realized the first gate had deteriorated so badly it had to be replaced. In the case of the second diversion gate, she said, the gate also had to be replaced, but the frame was able to be used.
Allen said the gates had to be repaired so that the ditch could be controlled and shut off when necessary.
The Willet Ditch is perhaps best known as the site of the Duck Race fundraiser during the annual Riverfest celebration in Animas and Berg parks over Memorial Day weekend. Proceeds from this year's Duck Race, which takes place at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 29, will benefit the River Reach Foundation and Kiwanis Rio del Sol.
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.