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The National Park Service (NPS) will be preparing an environmental assessment which will analyze the environmental effects of rehabilitating the Lees Ferry Road and stabilizing the banks of the Paria River near and upstream of the Paria River Bridge in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA).
The purpose of the project is to enhance safety on the Lees Ferry Road by making lane widths consistent and resurfacing the roadway. Curve radii would be adjusted to meet safety standards where necessary and drainage issues also would be addressed. The banks of the Paria River just upstream of the Lees Ferry Road are eroding. This erosion endangers the support abutments and pier of the bridge over the Paria River as well as the adjacent Lonely Dell Access Road, which provides access to the Lonely Dell Ranch National Historic District (about 1,000 feet upstream of the bridge and about 3,000 feet upstream of the confluence of the Paria River and the Colorado River). The project would stabilize the river banks and employ measures to minimize erosion near the bridge and along the Paria River's west bank below the Lonely Dell Access Road.
The project area, in Coconino County, Arizona, includes the Lees Ferry Access Road from its junction with US Highway 89A at Marble Canyon to about six miles northeast at the road's terminus and boat launch-ramp parking lot; the Paria River's banks and river bottom at and adjacent to the Paria River Bridge; and a site along the Paria River where it flows adjacent to the Lonely Dell Access Road, about 0.5 mile upstream of its confluence with the Colorado River. Please refer to the attached Figures 1 and 2 for graphics showing the project location.
Potential solutions being considered to rehabilitate the road involve a resurfacing, restoration, rehabilitation project including milling and paving, minor curve widening (4-foot maximum), and drainage improvements along and across the road, including culvert improvements at many locations. Erosion stabilization (different from just the Paria River area) would consider several options including constructing the following:
Rock filled wire baskets (gabions) as bank and streambed protection and gabion spur dikes for erosion protection.
Continuous rock filled wire matt bank protection (revet mattresses) extending upstream about 240 feet from the east Paria River bridge abutment, with spur dikes upstream of the bank protection, the last one located approximately 400 feet upstream;
Continuous bank and streambed protection under the bridge, with abutment slope paving;
A retaining wall where the river begins to encroach on the Lonely Dell Access Road, with spurs dikes upstream of the wall;
Gabion spur dikes along the Lees Ferry Access Road just upstream of the Cathedral Wash crossing.
The Federal Highway Administration, under an interagency agreement with the National Park Service, will engage a contractor to perform the resurfacing, restoration, rehabilitation work and construct the bank and river bed protection on the Paria River.
An environmental assessment will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act to provide the decision-making framework that 1) analyzes a reasonable range of alternatives to meet project objectives, 2) evaluates issues and impacts to NRA resources and values, and 3) identifies mitigation measures to lessen the degree or extent of these impacts. This project will also be conducted in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and other applicable laws, regulations, and policies.
The NRA encourages public participation throughout the planning process. There will be two opportunities to comment formally on the project-once during initial project scoping and again following release of the environmental assessment. The NRA is currently in the scoping phase of the proposed project and invites the public to submit written suggestions, comments, and concerns regarding the project online at the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/glca.
Comments also may be sent to the address below no later than September 26, 2011.
Superintendent, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
ATTN: Tim Windle
PO Box 1507
Page, AZ 86040
Commentors should be aware that their entire comment - including personal identifying information - may be made publicly available at any time. While commentors can ask that their personal identifying information be withheld from public review, the NPS cannot guarantee that this will be possible.