Temporary Road Closures at Belle Fourche Reservoir, Butte County, South Dakota

Media Contact: Faye Streier, (605) 394-9757 ext. 3005
Mark Andersen, (406) 247-7610

For Release: August 21, 2007

Road improvement work to provide better public access at Belle Fourche Reservoir will require trail and road closures during the next few months. The trails which access the Inlet Canal east of Fisherman's Bridge will be closed from August 24 to August 27, 2007 to allow construction of fishing access roads north and south of the canal. The Suzie Peak Road, which leads to Gadens Point, will be closed from approximately September 5, 2007 to January 1, 2008 for reconstruction. The road will be closed from its beginning at the junction of Fisherman's road to its end on Gadens Point. Alternate road access from Fisherman's Road to Gadens Point and the northwest portion of the reservoir will not be provided through Reclamation land during this time.

The South Dakota National Guard will construct a fishing access road on the north and south sides of the Inlet Canal as a weekend exercise. This work is part of a successful partnership between Reclamation and the National Guard. The National Guard completes road work and other projects at the reservoir which benefit the public while Guard members acquire training on equipment use and construction. A 22 foot wide gravel road with parking areas and periodic pull outs for fishing access will be constructed on either side of the canal. When completed, vehicle travel will be restricted to these fishing access roads, and the remaining roads will be removed and seeded.

Reclamation will employ a private contractor to complete the Suzie Peak Road reconstruction. Improvement of this road is a high priority for Reclamation because it accesses the popular Gadens Point area. The existing road has drainage and alignment problems which lead to potholes and ruts during wet conditions. This results in widening of the road and off road travel as people drive around the wet areas. The reconstructed road will be a 26 foot wide gravel road which will provide safer, easier access to Gadens Point. The temporary closure will allow the work to be completed quicker and for less money because the contractor will not have to manage traffic within the construction area.

These improvements are the result of a Resource Management Plan completed in 2004 by Reclamation, the federal agency who administers the reservoir and surrounding lands. While preparing the Plan, Reclamation received many comments from the public on the condition of roads at the reservoir. By improving roads in these areas, Reclamation hopes to provide better services to the public while preventing damage caused by off road traffic.

For general information about the lands at Belle Fourche Reservoir, contact Faye Streier of the Bureau of Reclamation at 605-394-9757 or fstreier@gp.usbr.gov. Information on Rocky Point Recreation Area can be obtained by calling the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks Northern Hills Region office at 605-584-3896 or by visiting www.sdgfp.info/Parks/Regions/NorthernHills/RockyPoint.htm

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