Missouri River trash cleanup underway

Posted at 2:11 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 10:52:38-05

HELENA — We have an update on a story we first reported last month.

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) contacted MTN News on Tuesday to tell us a team made up of state agencies and contractors from the Toston structures project worked together to pick up trash on an eight-mile stretch of the Missouri River.

MDT, Fish Wildlife and Parks, Riverside Contracting, and Sletten Construction removed debris that included plastic water bottles, lumber, channel marker buoys and other trash between Toston and Yorks Island.

According to MDT, the clean-up effort was in response to a KTVH and MTN story about an large amount of trash downstream from the Toston structures project.

These are pictures MDT took of the clean-up that they posted on their Facebook page:

Courtesy Montana Department of Transportation on Facebook
Courtesy Montana Department of Transportation on Facebook

We began looking into the amount of trash on that section of the river, after a concerned citizen reached out to us looking for answers.

In their email to KTVH, MDT said, "All parties involved felt it is important to follow up with KTVH, as the presence of debris downstream of the new bridges cast a negative light over an otherwise outstanding infrastructure improvement."

MDT suggested that anyone with concerns about the project call the construction information hotline at: 1-800-982-3161.

We are continuing to follow this story, and next week MTN’s Jessica Nelson will tell you about more efforts to clean up the same area of the river by an avid group of kayakers.