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McElmo Creek Flume Project

McElmo Creek Flume Project


Constructed in 1890 by early water companies to irrigate the Montezuma Valley, the McElmo Creek flume is the last of 104 wooden flumes built. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and was part of a canal system that delivered water to the valley from the Dolores River through a one-mile tunnel built in 1886.


After sustaining damage in the mid-2000s efforts to preserve the flume began, stabilizing the wooden flume and creating a highway pullout, parking lot and paved trail leading to an educational overlook. SEH (Russell Planning and Engineering at the time) provided design and construction management of the scenic byway parking facility along the US Highway 160 corridor, as well as administration of federal grant funding on behalf of Montezuma County. A considerable range of diverse partners contributed to the effort including private partners and local, state, tribal and federal governments.


  • 2020 Byway Public-Private Partnership Award | National Scenic Byway Foundation (Colorado)

McElmo Creek Flume Project

Montezuma County, Colorado


  • Civil engineering
  • Construction services
  • Funding services