Outdoor Services Crew

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Interesting Find

Recently a section of broken sidewalk was becoming a trip hazard to pedestrians. The Concrete Shop went to repair this section; however, with an 100-year-old campus, sometimes surprises are buried underneath the most common areas.

During the progression of this blog I will often speak about the raw water or ditch water that is used by the university. In 1876, CU received its first shares of water from the Anderson Ditch, which was, and to this day is, used to irrigate the landscape. What you see above is a previously unkown ditch lateral near the Old Main building. Taking a look back at our historic maps, there are no records of this lateral. That said, there is no way of knowing exactly how old it is. There is no evidence of the rest of the lateral anywhere nearby, so it is unkown where it began and where it ended. It had been filled with gravel and covered with a concrete sidewalk.

To help introduce what a ditch is, and how CU-Boulder uses them, you can visit this site. A few years back, Elizabeth Black, while conducting research for her web site, worked with me to identify history of ditches on CU-Boulder's campus. Her site includes tons of information on the 150 year history of ditches in Boulder.