SPANISH LAKE, Mo. — After extensive clean-up operations, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) crews have made Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake ready for public visitation again. The area will reopen TODAY, May 26, in time for Memorial Day weekend.
Columbia Bottom, located at the Confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, was inundated with flood waters that affected much of the St. Louis region at the end of April. Flood water covered most of the area except for the visitor center, which remained opened.
Overtopping and breeching of the area’s Missouri River levee caused water to shear away a large portion of the asphalt road that travels the circumference of the area. The flood also deposited considerable mud and silt on many parts of the area.
Due to the flood damage, portions of the main asphalt road will remain closed for the foreseeable future. However, visitors can access most of the area, including the boat ramp and Confluence Viewing Platform, via the southern gravel road. Motorists should turn right on the gravel road immediately past the visitor center. The trails and canoe/kayak access will also remain closed for further clean up and damage repair.
“MDC work crews have been removing debris from the area and silt from the asphalt road, parking areas, pavilions, and trails,” said MDC Design and Development Superintendent Mike Norris. He added that MDC staff also performed grading work to scrape silt and mud from the gravel road to allow safe public access.
Significant progress has been made on other MDC areas and accesses impacted by the recent floods to restore public access, though there still remain a number of sites that are not yet open. For the latest information on area closures, go to nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places.