Steamboat stabilizing Soda Creek downtown |

Steamboat stabilizing Soda Creek downtown

A track hoe is used to reconstruct the bank along Soda Creek on Tuesday where it flows past Lincoln Avenue next to Bud Werner Memorial Library.
Matt Stensland

— Soda Creek is getting a facelift this week where it flows past Bud Werner Memorial Library in downtown Steamboat Springs.

The improvements to the bank on the west side of the creek where it emerges from beneath Lincoln Avenue are not merely cosmetic. City Department of Public Works engineer Ben Beall said a crew of city workers is removing an old retaining wall that was located next to where the Lockhart Auction and Realty Co. building stood before it was demolished to make way for the library expansion.

“We were worried at some point that wall would come down into Soda Creek,” Beall said.

A track hoe was being used to remove large amounts of dirt along the creek Tuesday. Three-foot boulders will be placed to reinforce the bank along with smaller rocks and willow trees.

Beall said that city officials would like to do more work on that area of the creek but that the money is not available in the city’s capital improvement fund.

“There’s just not the money to restore the park side,” Beall said.

The city will not be reconstructing the area that runs next to Little Toots Park, but the improvements should help prevent spring runoff from flowing into the retaining wall and spilling over into the park.

To help keep project costs down, Beall said the city chose to take on the project itself instead of hiring a contractor. Beall said the final cost of the project would depend on how many hours it takes city employees to complete it. A crew of four or five workers could finish the project by next week, Beall said.

The crew also will undertake some bank restoration work along Soda Creek on the opposite side of Lincoln Avenue.

— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email

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