Absarokee, MT – Starting on September 10 and continuing till approximately October 1 the Beartooth Ranger District, Custer National Forest will be replacing two culverts on Forest Service road #2414, Benbow Road located approximately 15 – 17 miles northeast of Absarokee. The two culverts being replaced will improve stream passage for fish and other aquatic creatures along Little Rocky Creek.
Little Rocky Creek, runs throughout the year, alongside another smaller unnamed intermittent tributary which both flow into the Stillwater River and eventually into the Yellowstone River in Columbus. “Culvert replacements are common practice to help maintain aquatic stream habitats. Many culverts can be under-sized and at times may not provide the physical conditions necessary to allow organisms to successfully travel through the culverts,” said Joe Vacirca, Custer National Forest Fisheries Biologist.
Little Rocky Creek will receive a large bottomless arch culvert that will accommodate a streambed that closely simulates a natural stream channel. The unnamed intermittent tributary adjacent to Little Rocky Creek will receive a 56 inch standard culvert that will contain natural streambed materials throughout the bottom of the culvert.
An additional portion of the project will also improve road maintenance concerns by replacing five culverts in the project area along Benbow road. The temporary road closure will last for about three weeks for the two stream crossings, while the additional five road culverts may cause up to four hour delays. Additional questions regarding the project can be directed to Linsey Smith, Engineering Project Lead at 406-255-1421. Additional information about the Custer National Forest can be found online at www.fs.usda.gov/custer