West Broadway River Corridor Project

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View to the east from W. Broadway Islands

General Description

This project is closed for public comment! We have gathered your feedback about the project goals outlined below and to learn more about your priorities for the area. The survey results are posted here.

The West Broadway River Corridor Project is designed to improve ecological, recreational and safety conditions along the Clark Fork River between McCormick Park and the California Street Bridge. The project provides multiple opportunities to improve river form and function and to redefine how Missoulians interact with this section of the Clark Fork. Project partners include the City of Missoula Parks and Recreation and Public Works and Mobility departments, Missoula Redevelopment Agency, Trout Unlimited and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

This project began as part of the City's larger effort to decommission the Flynn-Lowey irrigation ditch, restore associated water rights to wells for future irrigation and return unused irrigation water to the Clark Fork. Learn more about the Flynn-Lowney Ditch acquisition project.

Project Planning Area

The West Broadway River Corridor Project generally includes the Clark Fork River, riverbanks and riparian areas from the western end of McCormick Park downstream to the California St. pedestrian bridge.

The project is in a dense urban area, and planning must include consideration of adjacent public lands and adjacent development and explore connections between these areas and the Clark Fork River. The design of the West Broadway River Corridor Project may require adaptation of current adopted City plans within the project planning area.

Your input will directly inform decisions about the W. Broadway River Corridor and ensure the final plans reflect community needs and values. Make your voice heard today!


Project Goals

The goals listed below are not in priority order. For a detailed list of project goals, please follow this link.

1.) Implement a holistic, sustainable project

  • Recognize environmental, recreational, and social equity benefits.
  • Foster public-private collaboration on design, funding, and implementation.
  • Enhance quality of life and economic prosperity.
  • Consider funding, costs, and timeline to maximize benefits.
  • Address long-term maintenance challenges.

2.) Improve instream river conditions

  • Remove diversion structure, debris, and irrigation infrastructure.
  • Restore 20-30 cubic feet per second (cfs) flow to the Clark Fork River.
  • Recontour the riverbed to improve habitat.
  • Limit soil erosion into river.

3.) Restore floodplain and riparian habitat

  • Remove debris armoring banks, and restore with natural materials.
  • Plant native species at high density for quick revegetation.
  • Increase seasonal side channels on Broadway Island.
  • Mitigate current and future human impacts.

4.) Improve recreation access

  • Connect Downtown Lions Park by filling irrigation ditch.
  • Protect existing bridges and trails on Broadway Island
  • Evaluate improved mobility access.
  • Connect north riverbank trails.
  • Explore options for in-stream recreation features.
  • Blend recreation access and river function.

5.) Increase public safety

  • Mitigate bank erosion near stadium and trails.
  • Increase visibility and activity in parks.
  • Expand Silver Park boat ramp eddy.
  • Consider flood protection.
  • Improve floater passage.

Next Steps

The MRA Board has approved using funding from Urban Renewal District II for professional and engineering services related to this project. Trout Unlimited will manage these funds with oversight from the project working group. Phase 1 planning activities are slated to begin in fall 2023.

  • Compile relevant planning documents and prepare GIS layers of project area
  • Summarize existing hydrologic and hydraulic engineering data
  • Evaluate existing topographic survey and bathymetric data
  • Review existing information and identify data gaps
  • Perform river geomorphic characterization and vegetation survey
  • Conduct supplemental topographic and bathymetric surveys
  • Conduct planimetrics survey of existing site features
  • Prepare conceptual design alternatives
  • Perform concept-level feasibility assessment and cost-benefit analysis
  • Confirm permitting and environmental compliance requirements
  • Update, evaluate and prioritize site opportunities
  • Prepare conceptual design drawings and cost estimates

General Description

This project is closed for public comment! We have gathered your feedback about the project goals outlined below and to learn more about your priorities for the area. The survey results are posted here.

The West Broadway River Corridor Project is designed to improve ecological, recreational and safety conditions along the Clark Fork River between McCormick Park and the California Street Bridge. The project provides multiple opportunities to improve river form and function and to redefine how Missoulians interact with this section of the Clark Fork. Project partners include the City of Missoula Parks and Recreation and Public Works and Mobility departments, Missoula Redevelopment Agency, Trout Unlimited and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

This project began as part of the City's larger effort to decommission the Flynn-Lowey irrigation ditch, restore associated water rights to wells for future irrigation and return unused irrigation water to the Clark Fork. Learn more about the Flynn-Lowney Ditch acquisition project.

Project Planning Area

The West Broadway River Corridor Project generally includes the Clark Fork River, riverbanks and riparian areas from the western end of McCormick Park downstream to the California St. pedestrian bridge.

The project is in a dense urban area, and planning must include consideration of adjacent public lands and adjacent development and explore connections between these areas and the Clark Fork River. The design of the West Broadway River Corridor Project may require adaptation of current adopted City plans within the project planning area.

Your input will directly inform decisions about the W. Broadway River Corridor and ensure the final plans reflect community needs and values. Make your voice heard today!


Project Goals

The goals listed below are not in priority order. For a detailed list of project goals, please follow this link.

1.) Implement a holistic, sustainable project

  • Recognize environmental, recreational, and social equity benefits.
  • Foster public-private collaboration on design, funding, and implementation.
  • Enhance quality of life and economic prosperity.
  • Consider funding, costs, and timeline to maximize benefits.
  • Address long-term maintenance challenges.

2.) Improve instream river conditions

  • Remove diversion structure, debris, and irrigation infrastructure.
  • Restore 20-30 cubic feet per second (cfs) flow to the Clark Fork River.
  • Recontour the riverbed to improve habitat.
  • Limit soil erosion into river.

3.) Restore floodplain and riparian habitat

  • Remove debris armoring banks, and restore with natural materials.
  • Plant native species at high density for quick revegetation.
  • Increase seasonal side channels on Broadway Island.
  • Mitigate current and future human impacts.

4.) Improve recreation access

  • Connect Downtown Lions Park by filling irrigation ditch.
  • Protect existing bridges and trails on Broadway Island
  • Evaluate improved mobility access.
  • Connect north riverbank trails.
  • Explore options for in-stream recreation features.
  • Blend recreation access and river function.

5.) Increase public safety

  • Mitigate bank erosion near stadium and trails.
  • Increase visibility and activity in parks.
  • Expand Silver Park boat ramp eddy.
  • Consider flood protection.
  • Improve floater passage.

Next Steps

The MRA Board has approved using funding from Urban Renewal District II for professional and engineering services related to this project. Trout Unlimited will manage these funds with oversight from the project working group. Phase 1 planning activities are slated to begin in fall 2023.

  • Compile relevant planning documents and prepare GIS layers of project area
  • Summarize existing hydrologic and hydraulic engineering data
  • Evaluate existing topographic survey and bathymetric data
  • Review existing information and identify data gaps
  • Perform river geomorphic characterization and vegetation survey
  • Conduct supplemental topographic and bathymetric surveys
  • Conduct planimetrics survey of existing site features
  • Prepare conceptual design alternatives
  • Perform concept-level feasibility assessment and cost-benefit analysis
  • Confirm permitting and environmental compliance requirements
  • Update, evaluate and prioritize site opportunities
  • Prepare conceptual design drawings and cost estimates

Have a question about the project?

This project is still in the early planning stages. The project partners have not yet found funding to carry out the plan. Funding could come from public-private partnerships, grants, donations, or other sources. Part of the planning process is to identify potential funding sources.

The conceptual master plan will go through a long public process and requires final approval from the City Council. If the plan needs City funding for implementation, the Council must approve that funding.

Please note: public comment is currently being accepted through the online survey through September 21. Questions asked here will be answered but are not tabulated as public comment.

You need to be signed in to add your question.

  • Share Will the cars embedded in the river banks be removed as part of the debris removal efforts? on Facebook Share Will the cars embedded in the river banks be removed as part of the debris removal efforts? on Twitter Share Will the cars embedded in the river banks be removed as part of the debris removal efforts? on Linkedin Email Will the cars embedded in the river banks be removed as part of the debris removal efforts? link

    Will the cars embedded in the river banks be removed as part of the debris removal efforts?

    Kyle J asked 8 months ago

    Project Goal 3 addresses restoration of floodplain and riparian habitat:

    • Remove debris armoring banks, and restore with natural materials. 
  • Share Hello, How is the Island Park going to made more user friendly? What is the plan for the homeless tents that inhabit the whole area you are addressing ? Many families are intimidated by the presence of these camps and will not use the area Thanks on Facebook Share Hello, How is the Island Park going to made more user friendly? What is the plan for the homeless tents that inhabit the whole area you are addressing ? Many families are intimidated by the presence of these camps and will not use the area Thanks on Twitter Share Hello, How is the Island Park going to made more user friendly? What is the plan for the homeless tents that inhabit the whole area you are addressing ? Many families are intimidated by the presence of these camps and will not use the area Thanks on Linkedin Email Hello, How is the Island Park going to made more user friendly? What is the plan for the homeless tents that inhabit the whole area you are addressing ? Many families are intimidated by the presence of these camps and will not use the area Thanks link

    Hello, How is the Island Park going to made more user friendly? What is the plan for the homeless tents that inhabit the whole area you are addressing ? Many families are intimidated by the presence of these camps and will not use the area Thanks

    Ric Mcleod asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for the question. The City recognizes that homelessness is a complex issue that impacts the use and perception of public spaces like West Broadway Islands. City officials are working closely with social service providers to increase shelter capacity and connect individuals experiencing homelessness with additional resources. However, fully resolving homelessness extends beyond the scope of any single department or project.

    For the West Broadway River Corridor (WBRC), our goal is to find solutions that protect public health and safety while being compassionate to all community members. This may involve deterring extended camping in the park while increasing outreach and access to services. But partnerships across government, nonprofits and the community will be key. We hope improvements to WBRC will benefit all residents. Please feel free to share other suggestions as we develop plans for the park.

  • Share Why did the developers of the five objectives include a sub objective that will evaluate the potential for in-stream whitewater structures when these features conflict with objectives #1, #2, #3 and #5? Fake engineered whitewater structures modify normative stream and floodplain functions, thereby often adversely affecting natural instream conditions, movement of aquatic organisms (such as fish and amphibians) and the ability of certain stream stages from inundating floodplains or riparian communities. Moreover, they create hydraulics that make it difficult, and at times unsafe, for the majority of people who float the river downtown in tubes, rubber duckies and other craft that aren’t easy to maneuver. In addition, why would they City consider investing in new in-stream infrastructure that would require expensive maintenance, given the turbulence and debris present when the Clark Fork River is high? Will the City in its consideration of in-stream structures consider the expense and liability risk of creating yet another fake whitewater feature in the river that demonstrates that a small minority of river users get to dominate the look and function of the river downtown? on Facebook Share Why did the developers of the five objectives include a sub objective that will evaluate the potential for in-stream whitewater structures when these features conflict with objectives #1, #2, #3 and #5? Fake engineered whitewater structures modify normative stream and floodplain functions, thereby often adversely affecting natural instream conditions, movement of aquatic organisms (such as fish and amphibians) and the ability of certain stream stages from inundating floodplains or riparian communities. Moreover, they create hydraulics that make it difficult, and at times unsafe, for the majority of people who float the river downtown in tubes, rubber duckies and other craft that aren’t easy to maneuver. In addition, why would they City consider investing in new in-stream infrastructure that would require expensive maintenance, given the turbulence and debris present when the Clark Fork River is high? Will the City in its consideration of in-stream structures consider the expense and liability risk of creating yet another fake whitewater feature in the river that demonstrates that a small minority of river users get to dominate the look and function of the river downtown? on Twitter Share Why did the developers of the five objectives include a sub objective that will evaluate the potential for in-stream whitewater structures when these features conflict with objectives #1, #2, #3 and #5? Fake engineered whitewater structures modify normative stream and floodplain functions, thereby often adversely affecting natural instream conditions, movement of aquatic organisms (such as fish and amphibians) and the ability of certain stream stages from inundating floodplains or riparian communities. Moreover, they create hydraulics that make it difficult, and at times unsafe, for the majority of people who float the river downtown in tubes, rubber duckies and other craft that aren’t easy to maneuver. In addition, why would they City consider investing in new in-stream infrastructure that would require expensive maintenance, given the turbulence and debris present when the Clark Fork River is high? Will the City in its consideration of in-stream structures consider the expense and liability risk of creating yet another fake whitewater feature in the river that demonstrates that a small minority of river users get to dominate the look and function of the river downtown? on Linkedin Email Why did the developers of the five objectives include a sub objective that will evaluate the potential for in-stream whitewater structures when these features conflict with objectives #1, #2, #3 and #5? Fake engineered whitewater structures modify normative stream and floodplain functions, thereby often adversely affecting natural instream conditions, movement of aquatic organisms (such as fish and amphibians) and the ability of certain stream stages from inundating floodplains or riparian communities. Moreover, they create hydraulics that make it difficult, and at times unsafe, for the majority of people who float the river downtown in tubes, rubber duckies and other craft that aren’t easy to maneuver. In addition, why would they City consider investing in new in-stream infrastructure that would require expensive maintenance, given the turbulence and debris present when the Clark Fork River is high? Will the City in its consideration of in-stream structures consider the expense and liability risk of creating yet another fake whitewater feature in the river that demonstrates that a small minority of river users get to dominate the look and function of the river downtown? link

    Why did the developers of the five objectives include a sub objective that will evaluate the potential for in-stream whitewater structures when these features conflict with objectives #1, #2, #3 and #5? Fake engineered whitewater structures modify normative stream and floodplain functions, thereby often adversely affecting natural instream conditions, movement of aquatic organisms (such as fish and amphibians) and the ability of certain stream stages from inundating floodplains or riparian communities. Moreover, they create hydraulics that make it difficult, and at times unsafe, for the majority of people who float the river downtown in tubes, rubber duckies and other craft that aren’t easy to maneuver. In addition, why would they City consider investing in new in-stream infrastructure that would require expensive maintenance, given the turbulence and debris present when the Clark Fork River is high? Will the City in its consideration of in-stream structures consider the expense and liability risk of creating yet another fake whitewater feature in the river that demonstrates that a small minority of river users get to dominate the look and function of the river downtown?

    Bruce1 asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. This complex, multifaceted project is in the very early planning stages. At this stage, we're presenting a broad suite of possibilities for residents to consider. At the same time, we are collecting a significant amount of geophysical data from the site. We will use that data and public feedback to create a spectrum of design alternatives to share with the community. We hope that by spring 2024, we will have a master plan that meets community needs, is fiscally responsible and feasible to implement.

    River work of this magnitude will require a variety of local, state and federal permits. Before construction can begin, project partners must demonstrate that the plan can achieve adequate fish passage, water quality, riparian health, flood mitigation, endangered species protection and public safety—regardless of whether a recreational wave is included.

    Again, thank you for your comments. It's incredibly important for us to receive feedback from folks who are familiar with the project area and passionate about the Clark Fork. Please be sure to sign up to receive updates when we post more information to Engage Missoula.

  • Share Why is the Max wave plan not included in this proposal? The goals outlined in this project and the Max wave plan align but are not limited to the following regions: -Recognize environmental, recreational, and social equity benefits. -Mitigate bank erosion near stadium and trails. -Increase visibility and activity in parks. -Expand Silver Park boat ramp eddy. -Consider flood protection. Improve floater passage -Foster public-private collaboration on design, funding, and implementation. -Enhance quality of life and economic prosperity. -Consider funding, costs, and timeline to maximize benefits. -Address long-term maintenance challenges. -Recontour the riverbed to improve habitat. -Limit soil erosion into river. -Explore options for in-stream recreation features. -Blend recreation access and river function. on Facebook Share Why is the Max wave plan not included in this proposal? The goals outlined in this project and the Max wave plan align but are not limited to the following regions: -Recognize environmental, recreational, and social equity benefits. -Mitigate bank erosion near stadium and trails. -Increase visibility and activity in parks. -Expand Silver Park boat ramp eddy. -Consider flood protection. Improve floater passage -Foster public-private collaboration on design, funding, and implementation. -Enhance quality of life and economic prosperity. -Consider funding, costs, and timeline to maximize benefits. -Address long-term maintenance challenges. -Recontour the riverbed to improve habitat. -Limit soil erosion into river. -Explore options for in-stream recreation features. -Blend recreation access and river function. on Twitter Share Why is the Max wave plan not included in this proposal? The goals outlined in this project and the Max wave plan align but are not limited to the following regions: -Recognize environmental, recreational, and social equity benefits. -Mitigate bank erosion near stadium and trails. -Increase visibility and activity in parks. -Expand Silver Park boat ramp eddy. -Consider flood protection. Improve floater passage -Foster public-private collaboration on design, funding, and implementation. -Enhance quality of life and economic prosperity. -Consider funding, costs, and timeline to maximize benefits. -Address long-term maintenance challenges. -Recontour the riverbed to improve habitat. -Limit soil erosion into river. -Explore options for in-stream recreation features. -Blend recreation access and river function. on Linkedin Email Why is the Max wave plan not included in this proposal? The goals outlined in this project and the Max wave plan align but are not limited to the following regions: -Recognize environmental, recreational, and social equity benefits. -Mitigate bank erosion near stadium and trails. -Increase visibility and activity in parks. -Expand Silver Park boat ramp eddy. -Consider flood protection. Improve floater passage -Foster public-private collaboration on design, funding, and implementation. -Enhance quality of life and economic prosperity. -Consider funding, costs, and timeline to maximize benefits. -Address long-term maintenance challenges. -Recontour the riverbed to improve habitat. -Limit soil erosion into river. -Explore options for in-stream recreation features. -Blend recreation access and river function. link

    Why is the Max wave plan not included in this proposal? The goals outlined in this project and the Max wave plan align but are not limited to the following regions: -Recognize environmental, recreational, and social equity benefits. -Mitigate bank erosion near stadium and trails. -Increase visibility and activity in parks. -Expand Silver Park boat ramp eddy. -Consider flood protection. Improve floater passage -Foster public-private collaboration on design, funding, and implementation. -Enhance quality of life and economic prosperity. -Consider funding, costs, and timeline to maximize benefits. -Address long-term maintenance challenges. -Recontour the riverbed to improve habitat. -Limit soil erosion into river. -Explore options for in-stream recreation features. -Blend recreation access and river function.

    Jack Peabody asked 8 months ago

    As part of this project's public scoping and design, we are exploring options to expand recreation access and opportunities along the river. Project Goal #4 references potential priorities, including exploration of in-stream wave features.

    During this public scoping period, we need your input. Please take a few minutes to complete our public comment survey by September 21. Let us know how you currently use the river and adjacent parks and trails and what access or recreation options you want added. Some potential options include new and improved trails, new walk-in river access points, in-stream wave features, an improved boat ramp and more. 

    Our team will use public feedback and geophysical data collected on-site to develop multiple design alternatives. We will present these alternatives later this winter in a second public comment period. There will be ample opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of each design and share your thoughts. 

    Ultimately, we want to find the right balance between improving natural river function and enhancing responsible public recreation access. With your input, we can ensure the final plans align with what matters most to residents. Please participate in the survey and help shape the future of your river!

  • Share Is there any talk of including a surfing wave? on Facebook Share Is there any talk of including a surfing wave? on Twitter Share Is there any talk of including a surfing wave? on Linkedin Email Is there any talk of including a surfing wave? link

    Is there any talk of including a surfing wave?

    atlasm asked 8 months ago

    We appreciate your interest in the potential wave features along the river as part of this restoration project. As outlined in Project Goal #4, we are actively exploring in-stream wave features to expand recreation access and enhance the user experience. Our team will develop several design alternatives based on public input and on-site data collection. 

    We encourage everyone to share their perspectives on wave features and other potential amenities through the public comment survey open until September 21. Your feedback will directly inform the proposals we present this winter. There will be additional opportunities to weigh in on the pros and cons of each design. 

    We aim to find the right mix of recreation options that align with community priorities. Please make your voice heard in the survey so we can factor local needs into the final plans. Together, we can shape an improved river that balances ecological and recreational goals.

  • Share Max Wave will improve the whole area as well as negate erosion while providing what surely will be an incredibly successful recreation area similar to Brennans wave on Facebook Share Max Wave will improve the whole area as well as negate erosion while providing what surely will be an incredibly successful recreation area similar to Brennans wave on Twitter Share Max Wave will improve the whole area as well as negate erosion while providing what surely will be an incredibly successful recreation area similar to Brennans wave on Linkedin Email Max Wave will improve the whole area as well as negate erosion while providing what surely will be an incredibly successful recreation area similar to Brennans wave link

    Max Wave will improve the whole area as well as negate erosion while providing what surely will be an incredibly successful recreation area similar to Brennans wave

    Henri asked 8 months ago

    An in-stream wave feature is one of the recreational access options currently on the table for this project. As part of Project Goal #4, our team is exploring the feasibility and desirability of incorporating wave features to enhance the user experience along the river. 

    We recognize varied perspectives on whether these amenities should be part of the final plans. That's why we need to hear from you! Your input through the public comment survey open until 9/21 will directly inform the design alternatives we develop this winter. Once we present the proposals, there will be additional opportunities to share feedback on the pros and cons of each option.

    We aim to balance ecological restoration and recreational enhancements. We encourage you to make your voice heard on if and how wave features could improve the river while aligning with broader restoration goals. Your participation in shaping these plans is greatly appreciated!

Page last updated: 14 Dec 2023, 09:45 AM