Levee Maintenance Work to Begin March 1 Intermittent North Riverfront Trail Section Closures

The City’s Storm Water Utility will begin routine vegetation maintenance on two Clark Fork River levees on Monday, March 1, with completion by April 15, weather dependent. Portions of the North Riverfront Trail system will be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays during this time. Work will start at the Madison Street Bridge and move to the west in roughly 3- to 5-day increments, depending on the weather.

Due to construction downtown and winter road conditions, a prearranged detour route has not been defined. Cyclists and pedestrians are advised to use parks, streets, and sidewalks as needed to travel around the trail closures. Closures will be timed to avoid peak commuter traffic times. Please plan for a few extra minutes of travel time during the project.

For more information and to see project area maps, please see the Storm Water Utility’s projects page at http://www.ci.missoula.mt.us/2673/Storm-Water-Projects. Updates to the trail closure schedule will be posted here as they become available.

The Storm Water Utility has contracted with a local company to perform this work, as required by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to maintain the integrity of both Levee III (Madison St. to Orange St.) and Levee V (California St. to Russell St.). Vegetation removal will include trees with trunks larger than 4 inches and non-native trees and shrubs, which will greatly encourage the growth of native shrubs.

Utility staff collaborated with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to identify the non-native vegetation. They also consulted Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to obtain the necessary permit. The Clark Fork River will not be disturbed during this work.

Engineers from the Army Corps will be inspecting the levees in the near future, and the levees could lose their accreditation if not properly maintained. Non-accreditation of the levees would cause all businesses and residences protected by the levees to either obtain or increase their flood insurance coverage.