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Corps seeks comment on Little Missouri River bank project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has asked the public for its comments on the stabilization of a portion of the Little Missouri River bank near Medora that will hopefully improve safety for drivers along the river south of Medora.

All public comments on the project located at the base of a hill along the river must be received by the North Dakota Regulatory Office, 1513 South 12th St., Bismarck, ND 58504 no later than Friday.

"It's in my district," said Billings County Commissioner Jim Arthaud. "We did a bank stabilization project in the area not too long ago, so this is just an extension of that project."

Last year, the commission was authorized to stabilize 400 feet of the river bank, south and west of Medora.

Northern Plains Engineering, on behalf of the Billings County Commission, submitted another permit application to the Army Corps of Engineers Dec. 13 proposing to stabilize an additional 350 feet of the bank along the Little Missouri River, south of Medora, using riprap, a permanent, erosion-resistant cover made up of large, loose stones.

For the proposed project in Billings County, the Corps of Engineers is requesting public comment about the possible impacts the project could have on the environment, such as its effects on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental concerns and other factors of public interest.

But according to the pending permit evaluation, the Little Missouri River bank has been eroding for several years, and more so since the floods between 2009 and 2011. The flooding has left vertical drop-offs in excess of 25 feet in areas of the river.

Patsy Crooke, project manager with the Corps of Engineers, was not available for comment, and Daniel E. Cimarosti, North Dakota State Program manager, said he did not have many details on the project proposal.