Arkansas GFC Closes West Boundary Road
In the interest of public safety, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has closed the West Boundary Road on the Trusten Holder Wildlife Management Area. The West Boundary Road traverses the west side Area 1 and lies south of the Norrell Lock and Dam on the Arkansas Post Shipping Canal. Earlier this month, the AGFC closed another road in the WMA leading to Big Island.
Following an inspection of the road by AGFC staff earlier this week, water was found running across the road as much as a foot deep in places. The river gauge reading at the Norrell Lock was at 144.9 feet with projections by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rise another foot by April 20. AGFC area staff reported the lengths of road already covered by water made staying on the road very difficult.
These conditions, as well as the potential for washouts in the road which may be covered by flood water, create a very hazardous situation for the public, according to AGFC Regional Supervisor, Roger Milligan. "After our inspection of the road and consultations with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge personnel, the decision to close the road to protect the public was the only reasonable alternative. We waited as long as possible to make sure the projected rises on the river actually occurred before we closed the road," Milligan said. "Our staff will continue to monitor the river levels and will reopen the road as soon as conditions permit safe travel," he added.
The river gauge at the Norrell Lock will have to fall below 144.0 and the AGFC staff will have to inspect the road for damage and debris prior to any reopening. The spring turkey season remains open in this area with the only access being by boat. Anyone accessing the area by boat is reminded to always wear their life jacket and be aware of potentially hazardous currents and floating debris.