We’ve seen the Boise River recede quickly in the past few days, but now the plan is to keep flows where they are, about 4,500 cubic feet per second, for the foreseeable future. Some relief after what we’ve seen over the last few months. The lower flows have made visible all the damage caused by the high waters.
“It is very shocking. We're so sad to see our Boise look like this right now,” Greenbelt user Debbie Mills said.
Trees are down and blocking paths, pavement is cracked, and in some places, even gone due to months of flooding.
“The devastation. Our simple walks are looking at the pure devastation. It's so sad to see,” Mills said.
The Boise Parks and Recreation Department says they’re doing what they can to get areas damaged by the flood waters fixed as fast as they can, but their number one priority is safety.
Boise greenbelt water damage
Crews are walking and assessing the entire 25-mile stretch of the Greenbelt to ensure it’s safe for all those who use it.
“The entire 25 miles will be very carefully analyzed to make sure it is safe,” Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said.
It’s an evaluation process the parks department was finally able to get out and do this week thanks to these lower flows.
“They're looking at not only the pathway integrity, but they're also looking at the bank integrity as well near the pathways,” Holloway said.
Searching for any cracks in the pavement, trees on the pathway, or any undercutting that could collapse with any added weight. All will then be put into an analysis to determine which sections will remain closed and which ones could be opened.
“We just want to make sure that when we say a section of the pathway is open that indeed we've sanctioned that and we believe it is safe,” Holloway said.
The Greenbelt is the parks department’s number one priority. Holloway tells KTVB they want to get it up and running as quickly as they can.
“We have already delayed a number of major repair and maintenance projects that we've set aside that we're going to do either next year or the year after, and we've taken that funding set it aside, and we do have a pool of funding set aside to be able to attack those repairs,” Holloway said.
Any sections that don’t need repairs could be open as soon as next week.
“Our hope is we can piece together enough of those sections and maybe with some minor detours that we can start creating some good synergy along the Greenbelt again where people can actually use it,” Holloway said.
Emergency officials say the current river conditions are still a safety concern. They’re encouraging people to stay away from the Boise River, including all sections of the Greenbelt that remain closed.