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River's Edge Trail proposal discussed at forum

River's Edge Trail proposal discussed at forum
River's Edge Trail proposal discussed at forum
Posted at 9:19 AM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 11:33:06-05

GREAT FALLS — Community members were invited to ask questions on Thursday evening about the construction of a pedestrian trail near the Missouri River along River Drive.

It will move a section of the River's Edge Trail from between Broadwater Bay and 1st Avenue South to alongside the river.

The Montana Department of Transportation discussed how this project will improve safety for both pedestrian and trail users along with the alternative plans they have in place.

JR Taylor, who serves as the MDT consultant projects engineer, said, "We've assessed some alternatives, and we selected an alternative we'd like to move forward with. Basically, it's the best alternative by helping us reduce the environmental impacts, reducing our engineering concerns with retaining walls and things like that by trying to keep that to the shortest amount possible."

JR Taylor

Jim Wingerter, MDT Great Falls District Administrator, stated, "We're really excited about running that trail out underneath the railroad bridge, out on to the river. We've got a couple different options of how we might do that. So we're really excited to get that thing done and I'm really excited to see how that's going to turn out for the community."

Jim Wingerter

MDT is considering two design alternatives for the section of the trail that hugs the riverbank.

The first option will consist of constructing part of the trail as a causeway with a retaining wall under the railroad bridge. The wall will be next to the railroad bridge pier and will slightly pass into the river channel. Hydraulic modeling is being completed to determine if this option is feasible.

The other option is to construct a bridge along the riverbank under and around the railroad bridge pier. This option is currently being examined for feasibility around the bridge pier and along the riverbank.

MDT is soliciting public comment on the project and the design alternatives. Contact: or 406-465-7198.