Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Much of Boise Greenbelt reopens following historic Boise River flows

Most of the Boise River Greenbelt will reopen today after record-setting flood waters forced its closure in April.

City of Boise staff assessments of all 25 miles of the Greenbelt within city limits show much of it is safe to reopen following this spring’s historic flows on the Boise River. The City of Boise, Garden City and Eagle along with Ada County closed all but about 11 miles of the Greenbelt earlier this year because of safety and erosion concerns due to the deep, cold and fast-moving water that at one point reached flows of about 9,500 cubic feet per second. A flow of 7,000 cfs on the Boise River is considered flood stage. 

City engineers from the Public Works Department and Parks and Recreation staff walked and inspected all 25 miles of Boise’s Greenbelt paths in the last week analyzing damage to the concrete, erosion of nearby banks and the stability of trees along the river. A plan was put in place to repair damaged areas and remove trees so paths that do remain closed can reopen in the future. 

While most of the Boise Greenbelt paths reopen today, five sections will remain closed for the foreseeable future as damage is evaluated and repaired. Please see the attached map for more information on which sections are open and which will remain closed due to path erosion, downed trees and standing water. Detours are in place where needed for Greenbelt users. 

Sections that remain closed: 

  • Part of the Greenbelt path through Marianne Williams Park in Southeast Boise
  • The entire Bethine Church River Trail near the Cottonwood Apartments in Southeast Boise
  • The south side of the Greenbelt underneath the W. Parkcenter Boulevard Bridge to Loggers Creek
  • The north side of the Greenbelt near Veteran’s Memorial Park
  • A section of the north side of the Greenbelt that connects Esther Simplot Park to Veteran’s Memorial Pond 

Detour map for Logger Creek detour.

“We continue to ask Greenbelt users to obey all posted signs and stay out of closed and fenced off areas for safety reasons,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. “Dangerous conditions still exist in some areas because of trees with roots undermined by the water, as well as bank and pathway stability concerns.  Please be alert and aware of your surroundings when traveling on all paths.” 

Costs for Greenbelt repairs and bank rebuilding operations are still uncertain, but the City of Boise has set aside up to $1.4 million in funding for the repair work. Crews will begin work on damaged sections in the coming weeks as river levels continue to drop and the damaged areas can be more thoroughly assessed. 

The Boise Fire Department is also reminding citizens that the Boise River “Dangerous River Condition” remains in effect.

Reminders:

  • Do not recreate in the river.
  • Keep pets leashed near the river, they will chase other animals into the swift water.

If someone gets into trouble call 9-1-1 immediately. The most important information you can provide to the dispatcher is how many people are in the water and the exact location where help is needed (closest Greenbelt mile marker dot, closest street, bridge, park, what side of the river, etc.).