Downtown Missoula kayaking wave in need of repairs

2013-01-21T06:15:00Z 2013-05-29T20:17:44Z Downtown Missoula kayaking wave in need of repairsBy BETSY COHEN of the Missoulian missoulian.com
January 21, 2013 6:15 am  • 

One of downtown Missoula’s favorite spots is in desperate need of emergency care.

Brennan’s Wave, the community’s free boating and surfing playground in the Clark Fork River, has a giant crack in its middle chute that needs to be fixed as soon as possible, said Trent Baker, spokesperson for Brennan’s Wave, the nonprofit organization that funded the wave’s construction and oversees an endowment for its maintenance.

The organization has $20,000 to put toward fixing the crack, but the cost of the full repair is estimated at $50,000, Baker said.

Unusually extended and high runoff flows in the Clark Fork River the past few springs likely caused the erosion in the base of the middle chute – and the crack that now spans the width of the structure.

Fundraising efforts are under way to fix the wave by the end of March and before spring runoff, which likely will worsen the situation if repairs are not completed, Baker said.

Everyone involved with the wave and its repair is optimistic the funds will be raised, but time is of the essence, he said Sunday.

Permit applications have been submitted and contractors are lined up to do the work. But now the money must be raised.

Brennan’s Wave was completed in March 2006 with generous community support. The recreation site replaced a dangerous and dilapidated irrigation diversion and has been so successful that it has served as the competition site for the U.S. Kayak Team’s Olympic Trials and the Montana Whitewater Championships.

The wave, Baker said, has become a point of pride for Missoula. Not only has it been featured in national publications, but because of the wave Missoula was listed as one of the Best River Towns in America in 2012 by Outside magazine.

Donations for the repair are tax deductible.

“It’s really important that we get this work done before spring runoff,” Baker said. “We want the wave to be in good shape and we want to enjoy it for years to come.”

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(12) Comments

  1. Rob Tabish
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    Rob Tabish - January 24, 2013 3:30 pm
    50 grand to fix an obstruction in the course of the river? i thought the rocks were free?

    i am not being facetious. i enjoy watching the kayaks and surfers and such, and i agree what is there now is a LOT better than what we had there before, but a little more info on why it requires $50,000 to fix would help.

    i am not sure WHAT is degrading enough to need that much attention...the concrete base? was this expected when the course was designed? is there a better design that can be installed for that kind of money? if work needs to be done to it, maybe improvements are called for., not just repairs.
  2. GaryTinkSanders
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    GaryTinkSanders - January 22, 2013 11:40 am
    @ service, fortunately the double standard doesn't come from the permitting agencies, it comes from the environmental groups, they have obvious double standards.
  3. doc
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    doc - January 21, 2013 8:17 pm
    So, where is the Clark Fork Coalition and the rest of the crowd?
  4. GaryTinkSanders
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    GaryTinkSanders - January 21, 2013 6:52 pm
    Applications being submitted does not mean they have been taken care of, there is a process that must be undertaken and if the people at the Missoula conservation district agree that an acceptable plan has been submitted it will continue through all the other permitting agencies for approval. The folks down at the conservation district are standup people and will follow the guidelines set for this particular project.
  5. MTminded
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    MTminded - January 21, 2013 5:06 pm
    I am an avid river rafter and fly fisherman and I enjoy watching the kayakers surfing Brennan's Wave. But mending the wave is a Sisyphus-like task. Rivers carve and reroute their channels constantly. This years fix will likely need redoing in a few years time. Enjoy the change, it may bring new, rewarding challenges. Play with Mother Nature but don't try to bind her with a corset. Nothing will hold her for long.
  6. wes d
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    wes d - January 21, 2013 4:38 pm
    Um, studies have already been done. What used to be there was an old fallen apart weir, concrete and rebar. When they took all of that garbage out, they put some bolders there in front of a big hole and created a wave. What's to complain about? Sounds like you'd complain about anything. Try a better attitude and don't be such a grump. Jeeez!
  7. Roswal
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    Roswal - January 21, 2013 2:52 pm
    I believe that is exactly what is happening... they are raising money from donors. If you want to start a non-profit to help assist the city in repairing streets, you by all means are free to do so, and would probably do just fine. Missoulians are a generous bunch that support numerous non-profits. As for the wave, your hard earned tax dollars are not being spent on this project, you can rest easy...
  8. campana
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    campana - January 21, 2013 1:08 pm
    Where are the environmentalists? They don't exist. You made them up. The article even states that "permit applications have been submitted", so it looks the permit part is already handled. Do you really think Brennan's Wave is detrimental to fish travel or "free flow of the natural path for the water"? No... neither do I, and neither do the hordes of "environmentalists" that exist in your mind.
  9. grizcountry
    Report Abuse
    grizcountry - January 21, 2013 1:00 pm
    Yeah.. Kinda like when the hippies get together for "Love your mother earth festival" and then leave with garbage all over the place.. I have yet to figure that out...
  10. Mr C
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    Mr C - January 21, 2013 12:03 pm
    Right on Service! I can think of a lot of cracks in Msla that need fixing worse than in the river.....try the streets for example! $50K to fix a crack??? Give me a break.
    Let the people using the 'wave' pay for it!
  11. MiddleFinger
    Report Abuse
    MiddleFinger - January 21, 2013 11:33 am
    Hey service,

    As my old friend John Wayn used to say, "Life is tough. And it's even tougher when you're stupid.

    Sounds like you are are having a tougher life.

    Sorry about that.
  12. Service
    Report Abuse
    Service - January 21, 2013 10:19 am
    Where are all the environmentalists yelling for their environmental studies, research, and permits that everyone else has to complete before they even walk into water with a shovel in their hands now a days? Why are they not complaining that the man made obstructions are detrimental to the fish travel and free flow of the natural path for the water.

    Or is this just another occasion that shows the double standards Missoula has for different groups?
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