Whats going on with the dike?
Posted by jethro (+92) 10 years ago
Why is not open?
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Posted by boxdmc (+96) 10 years ago
I talked to the mayor about 10 days ago. He said there were 16 spots in the dike that were problems. The Army Corp of Engineers never wants anybody driving on the dike and MC has always turned a deaf ear to that. With this year's flooding issues and the flood palin revision of the city the Corps is probably more aware of what we do in MC than in year's past so city officials are wisely trying to comply.

My issue is with fishing access and Roche Juane is unuseable for a bigger boat. I called FWP and asked about their plans for it and as yet there are none. Currently there are 3 boat launches useable for bigger boats between Forsyth and Glendive. That's not adequate.

I asked the Mayor to just move the barricades so that we can use the gravel bar to launch. No response yet. I do understand that we aren't supposed to be on the dike or below high water mark w/ vehicles but I also understand the Mayor has a recreation campaign going and this issue fits. Let's come up with a reasonable compromise between the agencies before boating season becomes ice fishing season.

Not sure if I answered your question but I definately feel better.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11978) 10 years ago
Oddly enough, the current priority for the dike is keeping it intact to protect the town from the rivers rather than using it for fun. Strange idea, I know.
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Posted by ringin10 (+76) 10 years ago
[This message has been edited by ringin10 (8/28/2011)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 10 years ago
Oh no. Another palin thread. Where's Kacey?
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Posted by Joe Whalen (+619) 10 years ago
This is a thorny issue but I'll try to explain it as clearly as possible by way of a PG-rated illustration:



The tension cracks that we've seen on the crown of the levee are caused primarily by hydrostatic pressure exchange between the wet and dry sides of the structure. This exchange has the effect of weakening the levee. The evidence this action can be found on the dry side by the formation of two large pools in the old Tongue River slough channel and, on the wet side, in the form of a large number of sand boils swirling and bubbling up near the levee just below the confluence.

So, while the levee is open to low-impact pedestrian, bicycle, and horse traffic it remains closed to unauthorized motor vehicle traffic until we can be sure that it's stable under current flow and freeboard levels.

As for boat access onto the sandbar, I'd be very surprised if anyone at FWP were to advise anglers to violate state law by driving into the riparian zone.

Joe
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 10 years ago
Mr. Mayor: Thanks for explaining this to people. I am not sure that bicycles and especially horses should be considered low impact. I'd suspect that on a pounds/square inch basis a horse and rider has similar impact to the average four-wheeler ATV.

The residents of need to understand the importance of a good working relationship with FEMA and the ACOE. Actions by residents that potentially impair the dike as a flood control structure, make working with FEMA and ACOE more difficult for those who have such responsibility.

It seems like there is an opportunity for the local Conservation District/Extension Service/Flood Control District/Other Group to do an educational outreach on this issue, especially in the high school. This is a practical application of civil/geo-technical/environmental engineering. Persevering the dike and ultimately enhancing the entire structure is an issue that will require significant education.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (8/29/2011)]
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Posted by boxdmc (+96) 10 years ago
If the FWP doesn't encourage violation of raparian area egress, they set the example. FWP vehicles use the gravel bar to launch boats just like the rest of us have done for years because it is the best launch.
Mr. Mayor, are you saying that we will never again have access to the gravel bar to launch boats? This doesn't sound like the the reasonable compromise I suggested.
Isn't Rouche Juane Fishing access on the dike? Let's use logic and reason to solve this unique problem please.
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Posted by matthew b smart (+27) 10 years ago
so im new to miles city only been here since march...so where is this dike that everyone is talking about....and speaking of fishing where are the best spots to go fishing from the shore in miles city and when is the best time to catch trout in montana...im from oklahoma so things are a little different
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Posted by cubby (+2649) 10 years ago
The dike is the levee that runs next to the river, basically keeps the rivers from flowing in to town. As far as catching trout you should probably head to western MT for that. We say trout make good walleye bait LOL.
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Posted by matthew b smart (+27) 10 years ago
ah ok cool...so what about fishing here in miles city from the shoreline and all where are the best places in this city to catch fish
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Posted by ocne (+472) 10 years ago
Boxdmc:

Roche Jaune FAS is not on the dike. It is located on the east side of 7th Street and is accessible from the vicinity of where N. 7th jogs off of 59N right before the bridge. Not exactly sure which street it is that goes to the FAS; its N. 6th or Wells possibly.

The dike is one the west side of 7th St.
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Posted by Gomer (+39) 10 years ago
The dike actually runs the whole length of the river past where Randalls used to be as far east as the old sewage lagoons and possibly a little farther. As far as the Army corp of Engineers are concerned. Aren't they the ones that devalued most of the houses in Miles City. If I still lived there I wouldn't care what they want. They are just trying to recoup a bunch of money that the Federal flood insurance program has been losing the last few years by guaranteeing they have more clients.
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Posted by boxdmc (+96) 10 years ago
Gomer is correct. the dike is suposed to protect the whole length of the city. the dike can easily be seen from the north side of the bridge running both upstream and downstream from the bridge.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 10 years ago
As far as the Army corp of Engineers are concerned. Aren't they the ones that devalued most of the houses in Miles City. If I still lived there I wouldn't care what they want. They are just trying to recoup a bunch of money that the Federal flood insurance program has been losing the last few years by guaranteeing they have more clients.


It is that kind of moronic thinking that makes the job of elected public servants, like the Mayor, much more complicated.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (8/29/2011)]
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17732) 10 years ago
To answer the original question, she and her partner Willow are heading to San Francisco for a major human rights rally in their '03 Subaru Legacy.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 10 years ago
never mind

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (8/29/2011)]
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Posted by joshmt (+475) 10 years ago
would it be possible for just the problem areas to be closed off and the rest left open?
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Posted by boxdmc (+96) 10 years ago
Now there's the logical cooperative approach I was looking for!
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Posted by Mary B. (+196) 10 years ago
If I still lived there I wouldn't care what they want.


and

If there is a law about dogs that bark and someone complains then the law has to be enforced. It is as simple as that.


What way does Goober want it? A law is a law is a law. Or is that only when it doesn't personally affect you?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 10 years ago
would it be possible for just the problem areas to be closed off and the rest left open?


If you do that, at some point the whole thing becomes a problem area. It is a flood control structure NOT an access road.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 10 years ago
I see the point of protecting the dike, but it's not too much to ask to have some usable access to the river somewhere around town. Or at least a plan in place to address it without attacking people who are just using the only real option available to them.

From what I understand the Roche Juane site has had issues for awhile.
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Posted by Joe Whalen (+619) 10 years ago
Yeah, sticky issue. Let's walk it back a bit:

boxedmc asked:
Mr. Mayor, are you saying that we will never again have access to the gravel bar to launch boats?


Not at all. I think this is what I said:
So, while the levee is open to low-impact pedestrian, bicycle, and horse traffic it remains closed to unauthorized motor vehicle traffic until we can be sure that it's stable under current flow and freeboard levels.


Would it help if I explained the thinking behind that statement?

What I'm hearing here and elsewhere from some boaters is:
"The City should allow towed-boat access over the levee and to the gravel bar west of the 7th St. Bridge because: a)larger boats can be reliably launched & loaded from there, b) it's closer to town than other boat ramps, c) river changes have made Roche Jaune too shallow for boat access , d) we've always used the gravel bar, e) FWP launches from the gravel bar sometimes so why can't we?


I think that's a fair summary. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

While some of those points may be valid, the City bears the responsibility of managing the levee for public safety, in accordance with a longstanding agreement with FEMA. That's our priority. We don't manage fishing access sites, boat ramps, or riparian areas on the river. Those duties belong to FWP.

City staff did inspect the levee from an FWP boat this morning ahead of an upcoming meeting with officials from FEMA, DNRC, DEQ, and FWP. That meeting may produce an "all clear" signal to boaters and motorists alike for access to a portion or all of the levee; or it may not. We'll know soon enough and I'll report back.

Joe
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1279) 10 years ago
Can't one drive to the dike...park their car-- at the base--- walk over the dike to the river??? Do you have to actually drive ON the thing to have access to the river?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 10 years ago
Can't one drive to the dike...park their car-- at the base--- walk over the dike to the river??? Do you have to actually drive ON the thing to have access to the river?


Cory, you should know better... busch lite is heavy.
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Posted by boxdmc (+96) 10 years ago
Thanks, Mayor. A timely solution is all I'm asking for. I realize the city is punching bag on this issue due to the fact that the FWP has sat on their butt and not repaired their access site for several years.
I hope a cooperative solution is in the works and a long range solution is in the planning.
BTW FWP is getting pressure to work on this as well so don't feel singled out.

Cory: Oh, never mind!

[This message has been edited by boxdmc (8/30/2011)]
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Posted by cyndie (+347) 10 years ago
Well Busch lite is a lot lighter once its empty. Why can't people pack their garbage back out with them. I couldn't believe the mess already down by where the Tongue comes in. And since the dike is 'closed' how come I've seen several outfits parked down there fishing, with campfire.
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Posted by Gomer (+39) 10 years ago
Once again Bonine and Mary B spout their ignorance. The Corp did not build the dike. It was not built with any government funds whatsoever. It was built by people who saw a problem and did something to solve the problem. They didn't wait for the govt. to do it for them. So how the corp can have any say whatsoever on how the dike is used or not used is beyond me I especially wonder how they can enforce a law on something that was pretty much built on private land all along the river and is not owned by the Corp. Unlike a law that is clearly on the books about dogs barking. I am not trying to make the Mayors job harder but as I said in an earlier post the Corp devalued most every persons property in Miles City by trying to replace funds in the Federal flood insurance program. Many many people in MC feel the same as I do.

[This message has been edited by Gomer (8/30/2011)]
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Posted by Bridgier (+9307) 10 years ago
Gomer is not a very bright lady.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 10 years ago
So how the corp can have any say whatsoever on how the dike is used or not used is beyond me I especially wonder how they can enforce a law on something that was pretty much built on private land all along the river and is not owned by the Corp.


I am very aware of the history of the dike and that it was not built with government funds. I am not ignorant of any of that as you suggest.

The ACOE has jurisdiction over all navigable streams through out the country, what they classify as "Waters of the U.S. Like it or not the ACOE and FEMA make the decisions about who and what is in a flood plain. The dike is part of that whole equation. Any impacts to the river or the associated infrastructure requires approval by the ACOE.

When people, such as your self, start acting upon the "don't give a damn what they think" attitude it makes good faith negotiation by our elected officials, such as the Mayor, more difficult. Our City representatives need to be able to make commitments about how the structure will be maintained. Honoring and cooperating with the City's request to not use the flood control structure as an access road is one way we can make life easier for our elected public servants.

Does there need to be better access to the river for recreation? Most likely there does. But that may not be a City issue. IMO, many of these issues would be best addressed with a flood control district / joint powers board of some kind.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (8/30/2011)]
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Posted by Jesse Venn (+15) 10 years ago
Honoring and cooperating with the City's request to not use the flood control structure as an access road is one way we can make life easier for our elected public servants.

How about our elected public servants make life easier for us. Who are you JFK?, "Don't ask what your country can do for you, but, what you can do for your country."
Give us our dike back.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11978) 10 years ago
The function of the dike is to protect the town from the rivers. Period. The ability to drive on it is an old habit but it is NOT the purpose of the structure. There is one house that can only be accessed from the dike road but other than that, that road is not necessary. Protecting the town from floods is.

Yes, it can be fun to drive on the dike but measure your fun against the cost of a major flood. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

Richard--as for joint powers, the city is not in the county, according to the county, so we can't have a joint anything board.

[This message has been edited by Amorette Allison (8/31/2011)]
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Posted by Bridgier (+9307) 10 years ago
How about our elected public servants make life easier for us. Who are you JFK?, "Don't ask what your country can do for you, but, what you can do for your country."
Give us our dike back.

What kind of sadomasochist would want to be a mayor for this collection of jackasses?
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3707) 10 years ago
Having been the leader of a group of around 100 gamers for a couple years, I know that I don't want to be a mayor, councilman, or commissioner for any reason. If you are going to be in charge of people, it's nice if you have something to control them with, preferably their paycheck. If they are under the impression that you serve at their pleasure, and that you owe them for being elected, a certain percentage of them will inevitably become a gigantic pain in the ass.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15082) 10 years ago
I know that I don't want to be a mayor, councilman, or commissioner for any reason.


Not even if it means a washboard-free road to Knowlton?

Regardless of the circumstances, there's alway one or two that will be a pain in the butt.
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Posted by jethro (+92) 10 years ago
let's talk to Butch.He's from miles city.New Mayor.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4455) 10 years ago
If you can't get to the river, your truck or your balls aren't big enough.
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Posted by Tyler R (+57) 10 years ago
So did they open up the dike road from Wells to Tatro today? I saw several vehicles driving the dike and using the access to the river. And no they were not city, county or FWP vehicles. Just wondering.
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Posted by cyndie (+347) 10 years ago
?
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Posted by RS/SS (+39) 10 years ago
Not sure either but FWP1576 was launching a boat just above the bridge at 12:39 this PM. So the riparian zone is unaffected by government tires? I really dont blame them as it is a much better launch area than RJ.
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Posted by Randall (+104) 10 years ago
Must be good to go if fish and game is using it. They are the last people that would jeopardize the dike.
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Posted by boxdmc (+96) 10 years ago
I haven't checked to see if the barricades are moved today but for the last week several outfits have been parked on the gravel bar. I would have thought that this occasion would constitute a parade or at least a warning siren.
I do hope that the "officials" have inspected the area and determined no threat is present from driving to the gravel bar.
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Posted by cyndie (+347) 10 years ago
Last I checked(eve. of 8th)the barricades were still up, but people were on the gravel bar. So.....?????
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Posted by Bridgier (+9307) 10 years ago
So miles city is full of antinimonian scalawags. I don't believe that this is a recent development.
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Posted by Mayor (+132) 10 years ago
Some good news and a little backstory...

*********************************************************************
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mayor Joe Whalen
[email protected]
406.234.7901

September 8, 2011
Noon

Miles City, Montana - A partial lifting of the vehicle closure on the Miles City levee by unauthorized vehicles has been lifted and is described as: Between the 7th St. bridge and the intersection of N. 3rd St./Wells. This was announced September 8, 2011 by the mayor following an inspection of the structure this week by the City Floodplain Administrator and staff from FEMA, CP Callahan Engineering, MT. Dept. of Environmental Quality and MT. Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The closure order for this section of the levee will be lifted beginning 8 a.m., Friday, September 9 and will remain in effect, until further notice.

All other sections of the levee are considered public safety hazards and will remain closed to unauthorized motor vehicle traffic until levee repairs can be completed.

The City of Miles City thanks the public for its patience and cooperation.

********************************************************************

The City commissioned FWP boats this week to complete inspections of levee repairs and an overall structural assessment of the levee with FEMA, FWP and DEQ, and engineering staff. Widespread abuse of the structure as it was being inspected would have placed that reimbursement in jeopardy. Fortunately, that section of the levee raised few concerns.

State law recognizes the importance of granting administrative access to the riparian area by FWP and other law enforcement agencies, which is why you'll occasionally see FWP boats on the gravel bar when the water's too low for a launch from Roche Jaune.
http://data.opi.mt.gov/bi...-1-128.htm

I'm sure you now better understand why we restricted access over these past few weeks.

Joe
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Posted by boxdmc (+96) 10 years ago
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This restores my faith in my fellow man that common sense will prevail.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 10 years ago
the off-road operation of an off-highway vehicle, as defined in 23-2-801, within state parks and fishing access sites is prohibited except for administrative purposes.


The way I read this, it would not make driving on the gravel bar down by the bridge illegal, since it's not part of a state park or fishing access site.

I guess it could be mentioned somewhere else in state law. But I don't think this does it.
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Posted by Chris Sirchia (+633) 10 years ago
Please tell me that this is not a g'vt operation!!
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