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City will see federal funds to repair River’s Edge flooding

| September 28, 2022 8:05 AM

Hungry Horse News

Columbia Falls will seek bids to repair portions of River’s Edge Park that were damaged during June floods.

The Flathead River flooded parts of the park, damaging the boardwalk, walkways and other amenities in the popular park.

In some places, walking paths were completely washed away by floodwaters.

The city is utilizing Federal Emergency Management Agency Funding for the repairs.

All told, the work includes restoration of approximately 400 linear feet of the gravel access road, repair and restoration of gravel and paved pedestrian paths, repair and re-anchoring of the wooden plank walkway, debris removal and river bank repair.

The wooden plank walkway is designed to float to a degree during high water, but the flood wreaked havoc with the anchors.

The river bank has been a main concern of the city for a few years now, as the bank erodes every spring when the water comes up, flooding or not. Each spring a little more of the bank is washed downriver.

City manager Susan Nicosia noted that a caveat to the repairs under FEMA requirements is they can’t make things worse in the future. For example, the city anchored benches along the river bank in concrete, but had to pull them out when the water rose.

Once the flood inundated the bench area, the holes where the concrete anchors were became quite large as they were scoured by flood waters.

The city can’t simply re-anchor the benches farther back in concrete again — as the same thing could repeat itself.

Last spring’s flood was the worst the park has seen in several years.

Bids are due by Oct. 11 and plans are available from the WGM Group, a landscape architect which is assisting the city with design.

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