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FWP Commission seeks comment on proposed Missouri River, Toston FAS short-term closure rule

Commission

Tue Aug 14 17:01:07 MDT 2018

Montana’s Fish & Wildlife Commission is seeking comment on a proposed rule authorizing FWP to temporarily close a portion of the Missouri River and possibly the Toston Fishing Access Site.

The proposed closure would be short-term and allow the safe removal and replacement of the existing Highway 287 bridge sometime between March 1, 2019, to Sept. 30, 2020.

The Montana Department of Transportation notified FWP in 2015 of its intention to replace the Highway 287 bridge on the Missouri River at Toston beginning March 2019. 

MDT will ensure there is safe passage for public floaters, including a 40-foot wide by 6-foot high effective opening between in-stream construction-related obstructions, and appropriate navigational signage and hazard posting. MDT anticipates that there will be times when construction activities will create unsafe conditions for the public and requests that FWP be prepared to temporarily close the river and/or the entire Toston FAS on a short-term basis to all use in the proximity of the construction site. MDT has asked the commission to authorize a rule that would let FWP temporarily close the river and/or the FAS on a short-term basis during the new construction timeline. The contractor, with confirmation from MDT, would be required to notify FWP of each request. Signs will be posted at upstream and downstream access sites notifying the public about any temporary FAS or river closures. FWP will only consider closures in the interest of public safety and if there are no other reasonable alternatives available.

A public comment period is open until Sept. 10. To submit a comment, visit http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/rules/pn_0263.html. Written comments can also be mailed to FWP-Fisheries, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.