The latest news on the Hoover Dam Bypass Project is reported to you in this issue of Update.|
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) has been completed; the Federal government has earmarked a portion of the funds needed to proceed with final design and construction of a new crossing; and in October we will be conducting public hearings on the DEIS in Kingman, Boulder City, and Las Vegas to hear your comments and concerns about the project. Read on for more details.
RELEASED -- Draft Environmental Impact StatementThe Project Management Team (PMT) has reached a significant milestone, putting us one step closer to relieving the traffic congestion on U.S. 93 at Hoover Dam. In September, 1998, the DEIS was distributed and made available for public review. Preparation of the environmental impact statement is required by Federal law, under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to disclose the proposed scope and the associated environmental impacts of the project to other agencies and the public. Following earlier project scoping and open house information meetings, the DEIS provides a new opportunity for the public to review and provide comments. After the 45-day comment period ends on November 10, responses to the public comments will be incorporated into the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). A preferred alternative, either one of the three proposed bridge crossing locations or the „No Build¾ alternative, will be designated in the FEIS. Formal consultation with the Fish & Wildlife Service, Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, and the State Historic Preservation Officers (in Arizona and Nevada) may result in additional mitigation measures. Additional comments and mitigation measures will be addressed in the FEIS, scheduled to be completed by Spring 1999.
DEIS SnapshotThe DEIS describes the baseline (or existing) conditions, the anticipated impacts of the alternatives considered, and the recommended mitigation measures to minimize the impacts. There are four alternatives evaluated in detail in the DEIS. Along with the No Build Alternative, they are the Promontory Point Alternative, the Sugarloaf Mountain Alternative, and the Gold Strike Canyon Alternative. Each of the Build alternatives includes constructing three to four miles of a four-lane, 60-mph highway and a new steel or concrete four-lane bridge over the Colorado River near Hoover Dam. To minimize the project's effect on the environment, each alternative also includes the construction of a tunnel, and other structures to provide for drainage and/or wildlife crossings. A preferred alternative will be selected once comments on the DEIS are considered and addressed. Inside we have provided you with tables that compare the impacts and features of the various alternatives.
PMT Invites You to DEIS Public HearingsOn October 13-15, 1998, the PMT will host a series of Public Hearings to provide you an opportunity to provide comments on the project and the DEIS. Staff will be available to discuss the project purpose and need; major issues; alternatives and design features, and the potential social, economic and environmental effects related to each alternative.
These public hearings will be structured as Open Forum Hearings. This format is similar to the open house information meetings held last fall, except that formal comments will be recorded by a court reporter.
We recommend that you provide concise comments in writing, since the time for providing verbal comments will be limited. This is to make sure that everyone has a chance to provide comments. You are encouraged to bring your written comments to the hearings or mail them to Terry Haussler (see box below). Written comments on the DEIS will be accepted until November 10, 1998.
Boost to Hoover Dam Bypass BudgetTEA-21 - The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. This legislation was approved with broad congressional support and was signed into law by President Clinton on June 9, 1998. It reauthorizes the Federal transportation program for another six years (1998-2003) and provides significant funding for transportation programs -- $218 billion dollars over six years -- representing a 40 percent increase in funding from the previous legislation. What does this mean for the Hoover Dam Bypass?
TEA-21 provides $41 million for the Hoover Dam Bypass Project under the "High Priority Projects Program." This Federal program requires the states to match the Federal dollars with 20 percent state funds. Arizona and Nevada are drafting an agreement for dividing the non-federal share. Once the environmental studies are complete, this funding will be used to complete the design of the selected alternative. Additional funds must be acquired before beginning construction. The estimated cost for engineering and construction is $198 million to $215 million, depending on which alternative is selected.
Arizona and Nevada will continue to seek additional Federal funding each year through two other Federal programs - one program serves Federal lands projects, the other program serves projects that benefit national trade corridors and interstate commerce. Both states feel this project is largely a Federal responsibility and should not compete for funding directly with other state projects.
Where You Can Review the DEISThe complete DEIS document and the technical appendices are available for your review at the following locations:
Boulder City Public Library, Boulder City, NV
Public Hearing Times & Locations:Tuesday, October 13, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. (MST)
Kingman High School - South Campus Auditorium
Wednesday, October 14, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. (PDT)
Thursday, October 15, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. (PDT)
For More Information
Call our project voice-mail at 702/369-6904 extension 234. Or contact :
James D. Roller (HFL-16)
Federal Highway Administration
555 Zang Street, Room 259
Lakewood, CO 80228.
Telephone number: 303/716-2009
FAX number: 303/969-5900
|Short-term construction- related impacts, improved air quality over the long-term||Short-term noise impacts during construction||Disturbance of 0.8 acres||Mitigable impact to possible breeding territory||Loss of 129 acres of marginal habitat||Impacts to 25 acres of lambing habitat and disruption of access to one natural water source||Mitigable impacts from erosion, sedimentation, runoff, and hazardous materials spills||Nonmitigable
Potential impact to 4 historic features
|Impact to 50 acres of 4(f) lands||Alteration of upstream views of Lake Mead from the dam area||During construction, temporary access restrictions||Beneficial impacts from improved transportation and circulation|
|Short-term construction- related impacts, improved air quality over the long-term||Short-term noise impacts during construction||Disturbance of 0.7 acres||No Impact||Loss of 120 acres of marginal habitat||Impacts to 20 acres of lambing habitat and disruption of access to one human-made water source||Mitigable impacts from erosion, sedimentation, runoff, and hazardous materials spills||Mitigatable impact to historic visual setting of Hoover Dam
|Impact to 60 acres of 4(f) lands||Alteration of view of Black Canyon and Colorado River from the dam area||During construction, temporary access restrictions and minor effect on rafting concessions||Beneficial impacts from improved transportation and circulation|
|Short-term construction- related impacts, improved air quality over the long-term||Short-term noise impacts during construction, a 26-decibel increase over existing levels along the Gold Strike Canyon Trail||Disturbance of 2.8 acres||Mitigable impact to possible breeding territory||Loss of 131 acres of marginal habitat||Impacts to 55 acres of lambing habitat and disruption of access to three natural water sources||Mitigable impacts from erosion, sedimentation, runoff, and hazardous materials spills||No adverse impact to historic visual setting of Hoover Dam
Potential impact to 5 historic features
|Impact to 73 acres of 4(f) lands||Alteration of views of Gold Strike Canyon and Black Canyon from hiking trail and Colorado River||Access restrictions during construction and impacts to river rafting, rock climbing, and nature study. 5-to-6-year closure of hiking trail.||Beneficial impacts from improved transportation and circulation|
|Continued decreased air quality over time||Increased noise levels over time||No impact||No impact||No impact||No impact||Continued danger of hazardous material spill on the dam||No impact||No impact||No impact||Continued degradation of visitors' experience at Hoover Dam||Adverse impact on transportation and circulation|
|Simulated bridges shown above represent only one bridge type being considered for each alternative.* 4(f) lands include public parks, recreation areas, wildlife refuges, and historic sites.|
Page last updated Monday, November 8, 1999