MILTON-FREEWATER, Oregon – The Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) seeks scoping comments from the public regarding the Corps’ proposal to grant permission pursuant to 33 United States Code Section 408 (Section 408) for potential alteration to a Corps-constructed river improvement (public work).
The Corps plans to grant Section 408 permission to the Milton-Freewater Water Control District to allow the modification of the Walla Walla River Flood Control Project (levee system) by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to replace the structurally deficient Birch Creek Road Bridge.
The ODOT plans to remove the existing bridge, located on Birch Creek Road and replace it with a new bridge to be located approximately 175 feet upstream (south). The ODOT plans to construct a new bridge upstream of the existing bridge and realign the roadway to provide better approaches. New bridge abutments would be installed on the Corps-constructed levees.
The existing bridge, built in 1956, received a very low sufficiency rating during an inspection completed on July 23, 2014. There is scour along the bridge footings and the bridge is currently limited to vehicles weighing less than three tons. Both ends of the bridge have been damaged by vehicles crossing the centerline to turn onto or off of the bridge because the roadway alignment is substandard.
Public scoping input/comments may be submitted January 18 through Feb. 1, 2017. Comments must be emailed or postmarked no later than Feb. 1, 2017, to be considered in the development of an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the effects of the Corps granting permission to potentially alter the Walla Walla River Flood Control Project (levee system) under Section 408. You may submit comments via email to NEPANWW@usace.army.mil, noting "Birch Creek Bridge" in the subject line. You may also mail comments to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
ATTN: CENWW-PD-EC – Birch Creek Bridge
201 North 3rd Ave.
Walla Walla, WA 99362-1876
The Corps’ Public Notice and a hyperlink to the ODOT’s Birch Creek Road Bridge project fact sheet are available on the Walla Walla District’s Environmental Compliance webpage http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental-Compliance/. For more information or questions about the Section 408 permission action, please contact the Corps’ environmental coordinator at 509-527-7262. For more information about the bridge project, please contact the ODOT Region 5 project leader at 541-963-1365.
Release no. 17-008