Much of the Greenbelt is closed and underwater, due to flooding on the Boise River. But eventually, the water will recede, leaving much of the 25 miles of pathway damaged or destroyed. But Boise has a plan once the river slows down.
In many places, the Greenbelt has been totally washed out by the river, which is well above flood stage. And City of Boise Spokesman Mike Journee says there’s more damage below the surface of the path.
“We’re seeing places where the bank is being eroded underneath of the pavement and other things like that and trees that are falling down,” Journee says.
In Boise, the Greenbelt is technically one big interconnected park. That means the City is responsible for fixing damages.
Journee says the city has a running list of improvements that it plans for every year. The Capitol Improvement List covers a variety of issues, like building maintenance, across all the city departments. That includes Parks & Recreation.
Journee says the city has set aside a handful of those projects to have enough money to make repairs to the Greenbelt, once the flooding recedes. He says $1.3 million has been set aside so far. The Parks Department and Public Works crews say, so far, the repairs will add up to a few hundred thousand dollars.
But Journee cautions, with the wet weather, the snowpack is still growing, which feeds the river, and the city has no idea how much damage will be done before the flooding is over. He does predict the high water will last at least into June.
“We don’t know what to expect from it. We don’t know how that much water for that long a of a period will impact our infrastructure and what kind of hidden dangers there may be lurking under the water surface,” says Journee.
Safety, Journee says, is the focus right now, not reconstruction. He says the Greenbelt is extremely dangerous and warns everyone to avoid it until the flooding is over and crews have declared it safe to use again.
Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio
Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio