First phase of riverbank stabilization project nearly done

The first phase of the Missouri River north bank stabilization project is nearing completion.

The River’s Edge Trail section from the north bank of the Missouri River upstream of the 10th Street Bridge is scheduled to reopen May 19.

The second phase of the project is set to begin in October and be completed by Thanksgiving. The trail directly upstream of the first phase will be closed during the second phase, which will finish the recommended repairs along the north bank.

City considering contract for riverbank stabilization project

The total project cost is an estimated $1.19 million with grant funding covering about 75 percent of the cost, according to the city.

City Commissioners approved the $107,460 design contract second phase to Western Water Consultants in March to complete the project design, obtain environmental permits, provide construction staking and assistance with the Montana Disaster and Emergency Services project closeout.

In August 2022, commissioners approved the first phase construction with Winkler Excavating Inc. and construction began in October.

Missouri River stabilization project continuing [2022]

In November, commissioners voted to accept grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the second phase of the project.

The second phase of the project will continue the preservation of the north bank line and eliminate erosion along about 725-feet of the river and provide protection for the River’s Edge Trail and the 36-inch sewer main that parallels the river.

The Cascade Conservation District contracted Land and Water Consulting, now known as WWC, in 2002 to prepare the Missouri River Urban Corridor Inventory and Assessment.

City receives FEMA grant for riverbank stabilization project [2021]

The assessment was to document existing conditions and provide potential restoration and enhancement for the urban shoreline along the river through Great Falls.

The study identified the area on the north bank from the 9th Street bridge upstream about 1,440 feet as the highest priority for bank stabilization.

The CCD sponsored the development of the preliminary engineering report for the project that was published in 2015.

The funds to implement the needed improvements came from a combination of grants, the city’s sanitary sewer enterprise funds, and the Park and Recreation Department.

The cooperative partnership allowed public agencies to request grant funding to assist with the cost of the project, according to the city.

Grants received for the first phase include a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant for $397,749.75 and a grant from NorthWestern Energy and the Missouri/Madison River fund for $73,383.95.

For the second phase, the city again received a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant for $356,208.23 and a grant from the Missouri/Madison River fund award for $60,000.

“Bank stabilization measures along this reservoir stretch protect the pedestrian path and sewer line, eliminate erosion and safety hazards, and reduce sediment deposition into the river,” Russ Brewer, city senior civil engineer, said in a release. “The incorporation of bio-engineered design elements into the project will also enhance riverine and wildlife habitats.”