BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — The U.S. Coast Guard has issued its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) permitting BNSF to tear down the 139-year-old Bismarck-Mandan Rail Bridge.

BNSF wants to tear down the historic bridge and replace it with a double-span bridge that can handle heavier double-stacked loads.

But, the organization fighting to keep the historic bridge, Friends of the Rail Bridge (FORB), says there were fundamental issues of the policy and process that were not followed as a part of the final statement.

FORB says they are going to take any legal actions or steps necessary to ensure these legal deficiencies are corrected.

“There was and still is an opportunity for BNSF to have their needs met to increase their freight traffic and run their trains efficiently and for us to keep our historic bridge. The most egregious aspect of all of this is that it has been treated as an oppositional process, rather than a collaborative process to get the best outcome for all parties, for our community, as well as for our needed infrastructure.,” said FORB Spokesperson Ann Richardson.

A 2018 inspection shows that the rail bridge is structurally sound.

Click here for the final EIS report.

Here is FORB’s statement on the EIS report.