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Community Input Sought for Draft EIR for California Incline Replacement Project:

Hannah Heineman

Mirror Staff Writer

The City of Santa Monica and Caltrans are planning for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the California Incline Bridge in order to comply with current seismic standards.

New bridge construction will require that the upper and lower approaches to the bridge at Ocean Avenue and Palisades Beach Road be reconstructed. The bridge which has been classified as a historic resource will remain a three-lane roadway with a signalized intersection at both ends.

The City estimates the reconstruction will cost approximately $3.54 million, with 88.53 percent of funds coming from federal money for construction and the rest from local monies if state funding is not possible through the November 2006 infrastructure bond measure. Construction of the bridge should take approximately 10 months and will necessitate the closure of the bridge and the redirection of traffic for that entire time.

Thus far, the following are projected to be effected by the project: geology/soils; biological resources; cultural resources; transportation/circulation; hazards/hazardous materials; hydrology/water quality; aesthetics; public services; air quality; noise; recreation; utilities; service systems and the neighborhood.

The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process began this month with the notice of preparation of the EIR and the scooping period. In the fall, the draft EIR will be prepared and distributed. Comments received on the draft EIR will be responded to in the winter of 2007, and the final EIR will be prepared and distributed in the spring of 2007. If the City certifies and approves the project in the spring of 2007, the design process will start and construction will begin at the end of 2007. The project should be complete in 2008.

According to City documents, the purpose of the scooping period is to “obtain agency and public input on the scope and content of the EIR, identify the range of actions, alternatives, mitigation measures and significant effects to be analyzed in the EIR.” Other goals are to “eliminate from detailed study issues found not to be important, identify potential issues early in the environmental review process and bring together and resolve concerns of agencies and the public.”

Those wishing to comment during the scooping period can do so by writing James Creager, P.E. at the Civil Engineering Division, 1918 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405; fax, 310.393.4425; e-mail, Jim.Creager@smgov.net.

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