Pioneer-Designed Flood Mitigation Project Underway at Bannack State Park

News: Flood Mitigation Project Underway at Bannack State Park


Flood Mitigation Project Underway at Bannack State Park

(Dillon, MT) – Montana State Parks ( has begun construction on an important flood mitigation project at Bannack State Park located near Dillon, MT. The project is designed to protect Bannack National Historic Landmark and Montana’s First Territorial Capital from flooding through Hangman’s Gulch located north of the townsite.

Flash floods have historically impacted Bannack as heavy runoff from the hillsides north of the town are funneled naturally into deep drainages such as Hangman’s Gulch. In July 2013 and more recently in March 2017, flooding caused considerable damage to historic structures and natural resources, displaced artifacts, and created dangerous public and staff safety concerns.

To protect Bannack from future flood events, the project will create a flood detention facility upstream of town which will hold flash flood waters and direct flows at a reduced rate into a storm drainage channel and aqueduct to the east of the townsite.

“Montana State Parks is committed to protecting Montana’s First Territorial Capital at Bannack State Park,” said Matt Marcinek, Montana State Parks Region 3 Park Manager. “This National Historic Landmark celebrates the true heritage of Montana and efforts like this flood mitigation project are critical to maintaining the integrity of the townsite, its historic structures, artifacts from the generations of life at Bannack, as well as the modern visitor experience.”

During construction, the project area and haul road, gallows, and a short section of trail will be closed to the public. Construction will take place outside of the town, but construction vehicles will travel through town to access the work zone. Visitors should be cautious and stay on the wooden boardwalks when construction vehicles are on the road. Most of the construction traffic will be between 7am and 10am, Monday through Friday. There will be no construction on the weekends.

The townsite, campgrounds, group use area, and Birds Eye View Trail will remain open during construction. Visitors are advised to use the West Parking Lot and check in at the park visitor center upon arrival. Guided tours are still available, and Bannack Days will be held as scheduled July 15 and 16, 2017.

This project was designed by Pioneer Technical Services in Belgrade, MT in coordination with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.  Funding is being provided by State of Montana Department of Administration, Risk Management and Tort Defense Division and Montana State Parks.  Missouri River Contractors of Helena is the general contractor on the project.

“Bannack State Park is a state treasure. The Bannack Flash Flood of 2013 was a 500-year event that damaged 70 of the 85 structures in the park at a cost of $1.9 million,” said Brett Dahl, Risk Management & Tort Defense Division Administrator. “To reduce the possibility of recurring flash flood damage, the Risk Management & Tort Defense Division is pleased to offer the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks loss mitigation funding for the creation of a flood detention facility to control outflows during significant storm events and periods of high runoff.”

The project is expected to be completed by late summer 2017. Montana State Parks would like to thank visitors to Bannack for their cooperation and patience during this project.

For up-to-date project information and advisories, call the visitor center at (406) 834-3413 or visit

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A division of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks


Pat Doyle

Marketing and Communications Manager,
Montana State Parks (406) 444-3818

Betsy Kirkeby

Public Relations Specialist,
Montana State Parks (406) 444-3343