Town of Basalt

Basalt, Colorado

The mountain town of Basalt has been transformed in recent years through a public/non-profit partnership that achieves a number of long-standing social, environmental, economic and community goals. In the heart of downtown, this redevelopment integrates two new non-profit campuses with public access to the river, a riverfront park, redefinition of the floodplain, and extensive wetland restoration. The project included removal of an outdated levee and the alteration of hydrological patterns to address sedimentation and erosion. The floodplain was adjusted and wetland systems were expanded. Developable land was created adjacent to the downtown core outside of the floodplain and new park spaces were created adjacent to the river within the floodplain. DHM was involved in all aspects of the process from overall visioning, community meetings and design to coordination with engineers and federal agencies for proposed uses.

One new resident is the Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center, a non-profit research and education foundation dedicated to the efficient and sustainable use of resources. As a think tank, RMI was looking for a design solution that was both innovative and replicable by others. The Roaring Fork Conservancy, a non-profit focused on river management, also built their new headquarters on the site – adjacent to Old Pond Park and the Rocky Mountain Institute. The new headquarters features a wetland demonstration garden, outdoor classrooms, and native landscaping that integrates seamlessly with the surrounding riparian ecosystem. The pond, wetlands, and river will provide an ideal setting for their school and community-based Watershed Education programs and will help to inspire our next generation of river stewards. The preservation and restoration of various types of open space throughout the sites were central to the success of the projects as a vital connection between community and river.

Most recently, DHM teamed with SGM, Inc to provide conceptual designs, public input process, and technical documentation to improve the pedestrian crossing experience at Basalt Avenue and Highway 82 in Basalt. The intersection is home to one of the most heavily used transit stops in the system and is the primary means of access for residents on both sides of the highway to schools, recreational trails, and commercial uses. The team worked hand-in-hand with Basalt, CDOT, RFTA, and Pitkin County to create an underpass that serves the needs of the community and creates an open, welcoming, and safe character for the many user groups. Additionally, the underpass is located at the entrance to the Town of Basalt and the design and detailing of the approaches was a critical component of the character of this important arrival point to town.