BILLINGS — A 10-mile stretch of the Bighorn River northeast of Fort Smith will close to floaters from Tuesday Jan 15 through Friday Jan. 18 for replacement of an abandoned Phillips 66 pipeline.
Phillips 66 Pipeline is removing a 275-foot-long stretch of the eight-inch Seminoe pipeline where it crosses the river between the Three Mile and Bighorn fishing access sites. The crossing is about a quarter mile downstream from the exit of the Picture Channel.
The project requires contractors to put heavy construction equipment in the river channel and possible construction of rock ramps and an 80-foot pad in the river channel to accommodate excavation equipment. The rock pad could temporarily change the river current and velocity in the immediate area of the construction. The closure is for the safety of both construction workers and float fishermen.
The closure will not affect walk-in anglers fishing from shore, except in the immediate vicinity of the construction.
Phillips 66 Pipeline will post signs at the Afterbay and Three Mile fishing access site and immediately upstream from the construction site to announce the closure. They believe their work, and the river closure, will last no more than four days.
Any additional or updated information about the closure and reopening of the river will be posted on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website at http://fwp.mt.gov.