On Thursday (Feb 14, 2013), the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission proposed keeping a portion of the Yellowstone River in the Livingston area closed if hazardous conditions persist due to ongoing construction on the Park Street Bridge.

An emergency closure currently in place – prohibiting all public use – will expire (by law) on April 12, 2013, and construction is anticipated to continue beyond that date.

Beginning April 13, this proposed amended closure would run from Mayor’s Landing Fishing Access Site (FAS) to 1000 feet below the construction site (the current closure extends downstream to Highway 89 Bridge FAS).

The river would be reopened as soon as it was deemed safe by Fish, Wildlife and Parks and local FWP Commissioner Dan Vermillion.

The emergency closure was put in place in December to address safety concerns associated with the direction and force of the Yellowstone’s current caused by a temporary bridge. Two boats were damaged when they collided with that temporary bridge.

A public meeting to answer questions and accept public comment on the closure is set for March 4 at the Best Western Yellowstone Inn (1515 Park Street) in Livingston beginning at 6 p.m. Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. March 18, 2013 and may be mailed to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Attn: Charlie Sperry, 1420 E. 6th Ave., P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701, or emailed to csperry@mt.gov.