Saturday, October 20, 2012

Salem River Crossing on Parks and History - Section 4f

(This may not be very interesting. But now that we know some sentiment is for 4D, we can look at this alternative in particular.  This note is just long passages lifted from the document titled "Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation for the Salem River Crossing Project (prepared in tandem with the Draft Environmental Impact Statement)"  and other chapters of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

In a subsequent post there may be more to say about particular passages or with outside illustrations that better show the impacts. Still, this is the official statement of the planning process, not some whackadoodle sputtering by those of us who might think it's a bad idea.  For the moment, it is sufficient to draw attention to the meaning of "prudent and feasible alternative," the weight of required preservation efforts and harm reduction, as well as the scope of impacts that are ostensibly considered reasonable.)

What is Section 4f?
Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966, codified in federal law at 49 U.S.C. 303, declares that “it is the policy of the United States Government that special effort should be made to preserve the natural beauty of the countryside and public park and recreation lands, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and historic sites.”

Section 4(f) specifies that the Secretary [of Transportation] may approve a transportation program or project requiring the use of publicly owned land of a public park, recreation area, or wildlife and waterfowl refuge of national, State, or local significance, or land of an historic site of national, State, or local significance (as determined by the federal, state, or local officials having jurisdiction over the park, area, refuge, or site) only if:

1. There is no prudent and feasible alternative to using that land; and

2. The program or project includes all possible planning to minimize harm to the park, recreation area, wildlife and waterfowl refuge, or historic site resulting from the use.
Wallace Marine Park
Alternative 4C (and 4D)

Figures 3.1‐10 and 3.1‐11 show the potential impact area at Wallace Marine Park under Alternative 4C.

Piers and Foundations
Alternative 4C would result in a permanent incorporation of property from Wallace Marine Park. The following are likely impacts on Wallace Marine Park under Alternative 4C (from north to south):

Under Alternative 4C, there would be impacts associated with the placement of bridge footings in the northern panhandle of the park in the same manner as under Alternative 4A. The impacted area is undeveloped and contains predominantly nonnative forest and other vegetation. The impacted area does not contain any existing or proposed park features or attributes.

The construction of Marine Drive would incorporate a thin strip of land from the western edge of the park between Glen Creek Road NW and a point adjacent to the existing softball field complex. The impacted area is landscaped with trees and grass. Footings for the proposed overhead OR 22 Connector viaduct would be placed in this impacted area.

More Piers and Foundations in Wallace Park
The installation of a stormwater treatment swale/pond facility to the southeast of the intersection of Glen Creek Road NW & the proposed Marine Drive and the widening of this intersection and the park entrance road would impact parkland that is landscaped with trees and grass. South of Glen Creek Road NW, the installation of approximately 10 piers associated with the proposed overhead OR 22 Connector viaduct would be placed along the western edge of the park. The impacted area is landscaped with trees and grass.

During the period of construction, no actively used portion of the park would be closed to public use. The access to the park at Glen Creek Road would continue to be open throughout construction (though detours might be used). All bicycle and pedestrian facilities in the park would continue to be open to users during construction.

Alternative 4C would have only minor impacts on the attributes and features of the park that qualify the park for Section 4(f) protection. As described earlier in this section, the park’s main function is to provide for active recreational use. The primary active areas of the park (ball fields, a boat launch, a canoe launch, and walking paths) would not be adversely affected under Alternative 4C. This alternative would have no impact on the passive recreational functions of the park (picnicking and swimming).
Union Street Railroad Bridge
Alternative 4C, 4D, 4E

85 Feet of the Union Bridge path would have a roof, 10-15 feet high
Alternatives 4C, 4D, and 4E would not entail a permanent incorporation of property from the Union Street Railroad Bridge Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail. As depicted in Figure 3.1‐11 (shown earlier in Section 3.1.2), the impact area is associated solely with elevated structure (the proposed OR 22 Connector viaduct). The installation of piers to support this structure would not be placed on trail property and the elevated structure above the trail would have 10 to 15 feet of vertical clearance from the trail, thereby not necessitating the conversion of any trail property nor impeding the trail for users. The trail would pass beneath the elevated roadway structure for approximately 85 feet. Therefore, a permanent Section 4(f) use would not occur at the Union Street Railroad Bridge Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail as a result of Alternative 4C, 4D, or 4E actions.

The construction of Alternatives 4C, 4D, or 4E might necessitate the temporary occupation of the Union Street Railroad Bridge Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail during project construction. Part of the trail on the west side of the river would potentially need to be closed to users during the installation of overhead structure (the proposed OR 22 Connector viaduct). It is anticipated that the trail would not need to be closed for a period greater than 10 days. To meet the Section 4(f) statute’s temporary occupation exception criteria (specifically, 23 CFR 774.13[d][iii], which notes that the project cannot cause “interference with the activities or purpose of the resource, on either a temporary or permanent basis”), and thereby avoid a Section 4(f) use because of temporary occupation, the project would need to create a temporary detour for users that would allow for the continued continuity of the trail during construction.

Therefore, pending resolution on the Section 4(f) statute temporary occupation exception criterion discussed above, it is concluded presently that Section 4(f) use of the Union Street Railroad Bridge Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail
Historic Properties Impacted
  • Mel’s Stoves/former logger supply store (908 Edgewater Street NW)
  • Wallace Sewage Pump Station (on Musgrave Lane NW)
  • 2450 Wallace Road NW
  • 765 Glen Creek Road NW
  • 710 Glen Creek Road NW
  • 845 Glen Creek Road NW
  • 945 Glen Creek Road NW
  • Reynolds House (2390 Liberty Street NE)
  • 1130 Belaire Drive
  • 1132 Chelsea Avenue NW
  • 1755 Wallace Road NW
Adversely Affected Historic Properties

City of Salem Concurrence

Right of Way and Rupture in the DEIS

Home and Business Rupture
Alternative 4D would require approximately 75 acres of new right‐of‐way consisting of about 254 property tracts (343 individual tax lots).

This alternative would displace between 85 and 95 residential units (Figures 3.3‐17 and 3.3‐18). Approximately one‐half of these residential units would be within apartment communities. The remaining displacements would be primarily single‐family homes located on both sides of the river. Impacted residential units on the east side of the river would include a mixture of homes on tax lots zoned for industrial and commercial uses.

An estimated 65 to 75 businesses would be displaced with Alternative 4D. This alternative would displace fewer businesses than Alternative 4C because it would not include the couplet portion of the project on the east side of the river. Alternative 4D right‐of‐way impacts on the west side of the Willamette River would be the same as those for Alternative 4C. In excess of 300 storage units would be impacted.

The estimated cost to acquire right‐of‐way for Alternative 4D is $88 million (in 2015 dollars). This estimate is based on gross estimation, not actual appraisals.

Energy Use

Energy Savings Calculated like it's 1983!
Using an (up-to-date!) method from 1983,
The energy analysis shows that, in 2031, the operation of vehicles (automobiles and trucks) with the No Build Alternative would use more energy than with the Build alternatives (Table 3.17‐2). This is primarily because, compared to the Build alternatives, the No Build Alternative would have increased vehicle volumes, lower travel speeds, and longer travel distances in the study area....

All of the Build alternatives would reduce the consumption of operational energy compared to the 2031 No Build Alternative. The energy consumed to construct each of the Build alternatives would vary substantially. However, the annual operational energy savings when compared to the 2031 No Build Alternative would, in general, offset the energy consumed to construct any of the Build alternatives.
For more on the River Crossing see a summary critique and all breakfast blog notes tagged River Crossing.


B+ said...

Excellent work, SBOB. You are really helping me digest this massive (and for the newcomer, confusing) amount of material. Sounds like things are really drifting in the direction of "bridge, baby, bridge!"

Jim Scheppke said...

Thanks for this great information, SBOB. I hope your readers plan to come to the NO 3rd Bridge Briefing on Sunday, November 4th, at 3 pm in Anderson A at Salem Public Library. Three experts will present information on the project and answer questions including a member or the project Task Force and a member of the project Oversight Team.