NPS Announces Scoping for Rose Creek Fish Barrier Removal and Bridge Replacement

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Date: July 1, 2011
Contact: Ellen Blickhan, 406 888-5838
Contact: Mary Riddle, 406 888-7898

WEST GLACIER, MONT. - Officials at Glacier National Park today announced that public scoping has begun for a proposal to remove the Rose Creek Dam and replace the Rose Creek Bridge. Public scoping is the first step involving the public in the environmental assessment process.

In the mid-1960’s, the Rose Creek Dam was constructed upstream of the Rising Sun developed area in the St. Mary Valley to provide water to local developments. The dam prevents native fish, including migratory bull trout, from accessing upstream spawning and rearing habitat.

The Rose Creek Bridge (also known historically as the Roes Creek Bridge) on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) presents a second barrier to fish passage. The bridge has a solid concrete slab foundation, which has altered the way sediments move through the stream channel and resulted in scouring or the removal of sediments on the downstream side. The slab and the absence of a jump pool immediately below the bridge inhibit fish passage during periods of low flow.

Sediment scouring is also threatening the bridge’s long-term structural stability. The abutments are showing signs of settling, and maintenance will increase as the concrete ages. Additionally, the bridge is not compatible with the historic design characteristics of the Sun Road, a National Historic Landmark. Built in 1932, the bridge was severely damaged by a flood in 1964. When it was rebuilt, the original rubble stone railing and wing walls were replaced with concrete and steel tube railing, making the bridge the only large structure along the Sun Road that is not in keeping with the road’s historic design principles.

The goals of the project are to return fish passage in lower Rose Creek to a more natural state by providing native fish with access to historic spawning and rearing habitat, restore natural sediment transport along lower Rose Creek, and address the structural deficiencies and incompatible historic design elements of the Rose Creek Bridge. 

To date, three alternatives have been identified: 1) remove the Rose Creek Dam, 2) replace the Rose Creek Bridge, or 3) take no action.

Comments and concerns on the proposed project should be submitted online by Friday, July 29, 2011 at, or mailed to Superintendent Glacier National Park, Attn: Rose Creek EA, PO Box 128, West Glacier, MT, 59936. There will be another opportunity to comment on the project when the EA is completed.

- NPS –


Last updated: February 24, 2015

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PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936


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