Conservation Resource Alliance
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Little Betsie & Nessen Road Timber Bridge

December 19, 2014

The Little Betsie River is a cold-water tributary to the main-stem of the Betsie River and is the largest tributary within the Betsie Watershed. The Little Betsie River provides spawning and escape cover for trout, and instream habitat for aquatic insects. The Little Betsie is approximately 12 miles long and this crossing project opens fish passage up to 4 miles of it. 

The Nessen road/stream crossing, site #B-12, was an aging concrete bottomless box structure approximately 7½ feet wide over the Little Betsie River. The extremely narrow width created an unnaturally large scour pool downstream and increased velocity flows at the outlet. In addition large amounts of gravel from the roadway were being inputted into the stream along with crumbling material from the structure itself. Through this project partners designed and completed the installation of a 14’ wide, 22’ span timber bridge that accommodates the natural stream channel and allows the natural movement of substrate, fish and wildlife. Paved approaches and spillways were incorporated to channel road runoff away from the stream as well.

Best Management Practices

  • Single lane timber bridge 14’ wide by 22’ long installed
  • Guardrail installed
  • Fieldstone placement for slope stabilization
  • Grading & re-vegetation
  • Pavement, curbing & 4 spillways constructed

Project Benefits

  • Restore natural movement of woody debris and sediment upstream & downstream
  • Halt up tons of sediment into stream from roadbed
  • Reduced flooding potential & annual road maintenance
  • Reconnect over 4 upstream miles of the Little Betsie River for migratory fish & other aquatic insects
  • Ensure safe roadway for vehicle traffic

Contributors

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians
Betsie River Watershed Restoration Committee
CRA’s River Care Program
Benzie County Road Commission
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant
U.S Fish & Wildlife Service
Upper Great Lakes Connectivity Grant
National Fish & Wildlife Foundation-Sustain Our great Lakes Program

Partners involved

Conservation Resource Alliance, Benzie County Road Commission, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Fisheries Division, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Herpetological Resource & Management, U.S Fish & Wildlife Service, Prein & Newhof Engineering, Gosling Czubak Engineering, Wilcox Professional Services, Betsie River Watershed Restoration Committee, Krenn Bridge Company

 

                                                    


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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817

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