FWP proposes removal of Flathead River pier

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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking public comment on a proposal to remove a deteriorating fishing pier from the bank of the Flathead River at Old Steel Bridge Fishing Access Site in Evergreen.

Fish Wildlife and Parks is accepting public comment on the proposed projectís Draft Environmental Assessment through 5 p.m., Wednesday, July 25. The Old Steel Bridge Fishing Access Site is located approximately 3 miles west of Kalispell, Montana, on Holt Stage Road (T21N, R10W, Section 28).

The fishing pier on the east bank of the river is made of sheet piling and fill material with a concrete deck and steel railing. In recent years, erosion has undercut the pier and the structure is unstable and unsafe for use.

In 2016, FWP closed the pier by posting signage and roping it off, but people continue to access it. Exposed metal edges and rebar pose a safety concern for river users and failure of the structure could deposit debris into the river. FWP attempted to stabilize the pier in 2017 but high water caused additional damage.

FWP has determined that any effort to repair or reinforce the failing structure would be extremely costly and would only provide a short-term solution. To address public safety concerns, FWP is proposing to demolish and remove the structure from the riverbank.

The draft assessment is out for a 15-day public review. Copies of the draft assessment are available at the FWP office, 490 N. Meridian Rd., Kalispell and at the FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/environmentalAssessments/developmentImprovementsAndEnhancements/pn_0386.html; and available for viewing at local libraries.

Comments can be emailed to tpowell@mt.gov or mailed to: Old Steel Bridge FAS Proposed Pier Removal Project, FWP Region 1, 490 N Meridian Road, Kalispell, MT 59901. For more information, contact Tony Powell, FWP Region 1 FAS Manager, at 406-751-5423 or tpowell@mt.gov.

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