Thirteen years after the Los Alamos Reservoir was closed in the aftermath of the 2000 Cerro Grande, dam reconstruction is finally complete and the reservoir is slowly filling.
That does not mean the reservoir is “open for business” just yet. In fact, reviving the treasured picnic area and fishing spot many residents hold dear is at least two years down the road.
The road itself is one reason for that. A flood following the Las Conchas fire in 2011 obliterated 75 percent of the road. A temporary road constructed the spring of 2012 was wiped out in a flood last summer. The road was repaired sufficiently to allow construction crews access, but a major reconstruction is necessary to safeguard against future flooding.
That work will take place this summer, which means the reservoir, remains off limits until construction is complete.
The overall final cost of the project was $4,888,789.56. Since the Las Conchas fires and the subsequent floods were declared natural disasters, $1,430,617 of that amount is eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds.