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FWP Invites Comment on Temporary Closure at Part of Florence Bridge FAS

Fish & Wildlife - Region 2

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would close a portion of Florence Bridge Fishing Access Site (FAS) on the Bitterroot River to address safety concerns while the Eastside Highway bridge is replaced.

The closure would affect the portion of Florence Bridge FAS that lies between the existing highway bridge and a distance 150 feet upstream. Other parts of the site would remain open, including an area suitable for launching or taking out boats.

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) plans to begin work on the bridge as early as August 1, 2013, and FWP would institute the closure in conjunction with the start date. The closure would be lifted once conditions no longer present a public safety concern.

MDT will provide public float passage through the construction zone, but there may be short periods of time when activities will create unsafe conditions for river users. Accordingly, the rule would also grant FWP, with the approval of the local FWP commissioner, the authority to temporarily close the entire site and the Bitterroot River 1,000 feet above and below the construction site if conditions become unsafe.

For a complete copy of the proposed closure rule, contact the Missoula FWP office at 406-542-5500. To comment, write to Region 2 FWP, Attn: Florence Bridge FAS, 3201 Spurgin Rd., Missoula 59804; or email shrose@mt.gov. Comments must be received by FWP no later than 5pm on May 10, 2013.