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Comments on Pope-Chaucer Bridge replacement EIR

From: domainremoved <Naomi>
Date: Sun, 5 May 2019 16:08:56 +0000

I am a Willows neighborhood resident with a house not in the flood zone. I support the plan to replace the Pope-Chaucer Bridge with an at-grade structure with larger flow capacity, as described in the Draft Environmental Impact Report. I have submitted these comments to the Joint Powers Authority:

*The Draft EIR includes an inventory of trees on privately owned land that would need to be removed for construction of the Pope-Chaucer Bridge, but does not have a similar inventory of trees on the creek banks. The EIR states "Streambed vegetation, from 250 feet downstream of the bridge to 250 feet upstream, would be removed as needed to accommodate construction equipment." This is a significant shortcoming, as there is one huge laurel and at least 12 mature oaks growing on the stream banks within this stretch. It is not possible to "mitigate" removal of these trees within a human lifetime. The EIR should identify which trees will be removed, so that residents can judge whether the cost to the creek habitat is reasonable. In addition, the project should consult with the volunteer organizations that have been removing invasive vegetation and replacing it with native plants within this stretch, so that these efforts are not set back.

* The EIR does not include an inventory of species that may be harmed by "vegetation removal" or construction. There is a red-shouldered hawk nest in a tree within 500 feet of the bridge. Hawks are protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Act. The EIR should specify how impacts on this and other protected species will be mitigated.

*The EIR does not specify how the bridge pilings will be protected against collisions with floating trees. Entire trees can float down the creek during peak flow periods and could take out a piling. Diversion structures around the pilings should be part of the bridge design.

*Alternatives that include flood walls along the creek should not be part of the final EIR. Area residents have made it clear that this option will cause unacceptable damage to the natural creek habitat.

*Replacement of the bridge will cause severe traffic impacts on Willows residents that use the Pope-Chaucer bridge to enter and leave the neighborhood. The only access points to the south will be at Woodland and Middlefield. The option proposed in the EIR to install a temporary stop-light on Middlefield, allowing traffic on Woodland to turn left or right onto Middlefield should be mandatory for any alternative selected.

Naomi Goodman
 Woodland Ave
Menlo Park
Received on Sun May 05 2019 - 09:03:48 PDT

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