KALSPELL – The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) wants to replace a bridge over the Flathead River, but that means a fishing access site could be removed.
State officials are now asking the public to comment on the proposal.
MDT wants to replace Sportsman's Bridge on Montana Highway 82 between Bigfork and Kalispell, but that requires a wider right-of-way.
The fishing access site, located on the east bank of the Flathead River next to the bridge, would be impacted.
MDT is asking Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) to grant it a narrow strip of land on the north end of the fishing access site to make the right of way.
The proposal means FWP's riverfront would be reduced by 70 feet, and existing access to the site would be eliminated.
In return, FWP would get an upgraded fishing site around Hanging Rock Road.
Both MDT and FWP want to hear from the public about the proposed bridge replacement before the Commission reviews the proposal on April 18, 2023.
People can provide comments about the proposal at https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/commission.