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SPA-2016-00303-ABQ; City of Manitou Springs Brook Street Bridge Project

Published Dec. 5, 2016

Application Number:  SPA-2016-00303-ABQ

Date: December 5, 2016

Comments Due: January 4, 2017

SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application from the City of Manitou Springs (the City) to conduct the Brook Street Bridge Project, which would result in impacts to approximately 0.07 acres and/or 80 linear feet of waters of the United States and/or navigable waters of the United States (i.e. Ruxton Creek).  This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.

AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States (U.S.) for structures or work in or affecting navigable waters of the U.S.

APPLICANT:      City of Manitou Springs

                      606 Manitou Avenue

                      Manitou Springs, Colorado  80829

LOCATION: The project site is located at the intersection of Brook Street and Ruxton Creek within the City of Manitou Springs in El Paso County, Colorado. This location falls within Section 5 of Township 14S, Range 67W of the 6th Principal Meridian at latitude 38.859010 and longitude -104.923783.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to remove the Brook Street Bridge over Ruxton Creek and install stream stabilization, which would include bank grading and rip rap protection. The project is being proposed because of a recent structural engineering assessment that determined this bridge is at risk of imminent failure due to long-term degradation and undermining of the foundation from lowering of the channel.  Furthermore, the assessment concluded that non-action could result in safety issues and adverse impacts to downstream structures. As such, the overall project purpose is to remove a structurally deficient bridge to address safety concerns. 

The attached drawings and documents provide additional project details.

PROPOSED MITIGATION:

Compensatory mitigation at a minimum one-for-one ratio is required for all wetland losses that exceed 0.1 acres and require pre-construction notification, unless the district engineer determines in writing that either some other form of mitigation would be more environmentally appropriate or the adverse effects of the proposed activity are minimal. For wetland losses of 0.1 acres or less that require pre-construction notification, the district engineer may determine on a case-by-case basis that compensatory mitigation is required to ensure that the activity results in minimal adverse effects on the aquatic environment. Compensatory mitigation projects provided to offset losses of aquatic resources must comply with the applicable provisions of 33 CFR Part 332.   

In the case of the Brook Street Bridge Project, the removal of the existing structure and installation of stream stabilization would not result in impacts to wetlands. Furthermore, impacts to the Ruxton Creek stream channel would be less than 0.1 acres. Additionally, some of the impacts would be temporary and the stream channel at this location would still provide the same basic ecological functions (e.g. water conveyance). Therefore, the proposed impacts to Ruxton Creek are considered minimal. As such, compensatory mitigation would not be required for the proposed action.

OTHER AUTHORIZATIONS:

             State Water Quality Certification:  The State of Colorado has mandated by statute that Section 401 Water Quality Certification is issued without condition for all general permits. The proposed action qualifies for verification under a general permit.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

             Environmental Setting. The project site is located at the intersection of Brook Street and Ruxton Creek within the City of Manitou Springs.  The City of Manitou Springs is situated within the central part of Colorado at the base of Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains.  It is approximately 50 miles south of Denver and just west of Colorado Springs along U.S. State Highway 24. The City is bordered by Mount Manitou to the west, Red Mountain to the south, and Englemann Canyon to the south and west. Englemann Canyon contains Ruxton Creek, which flows into Fountain Creek approximately 0.25 miles downstream of the project area. 

            The project site is located in a residential area that falls within the City of Manitou Springs Historic District. As such, it is surrounded by private residences containing buildings that date to the historic period. Downtown Manitou Springs is located approximately 0.2 miles to the east. 

            On August 9, 2013, the City was inundated by a flash flood that threatened buildings and other infrastructure. This event, as well as large flows associated with other major storms that have occurred over the last several years, contributed to current maintenance issues related to the many historic bridges within the City’s historic district.            

            Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning project alternatives, which is included as an attachment to this document.  Other alternatives may develop during the review process for this permit application.  All reasonable project alternatives, in particular those which may be less damaging to the aquatic environment, will be considered.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES:  The Corps consulted district files and records, the latest version of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and state records to determine if there are any historic properties that may be affected by the proposed undertaking.   

The Brook Street Bridge is a small masonry arch structure located within the Multiple Resource Area of Manitou Springs (5EP.530), which is listed on the NRHP as a historic district. Furthermore, the Brook Street Bridge (5EP.530.271) has been determined to be a contributing element to the historic district, and has also been recommended as eligible to the NRHP individually based on a field-level assessment.   

The Corps and State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) have determined that there would be an adverse effect to historic properties resulting from the proposed action. As such, representatives from the City, the Corps, and staff members of the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP) met on September 29, 2016 in Denver to discuss potential measures to mitigate the adverse effects. As a follow-up to that meeting the attached Mitigation Memo (i.e. Mitigation Plan) was submitted to the Corps, OAHP, and SHPO for review and comment.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has reviewed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's latest published version of Federally-listed endangered and threatened species located in El Paso County to determine if any listed species or their critical habitat may occur in the proposed project area.  The Corps has made a preliminary determination that the proposed project will not affect any Federally-listed endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat that are protected by the Endangered Species Act.

FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT:  In accordance with 44 CFR part 60, the floodplain administrators of participating communities are required to review all proposed development to determine if a floodplain development permit is required and maintain records of such review.

CLOSE OF COMMENT PERIOD:  All comments pertaining to this Public Notice must reach this office on or before January 4, 2017, which is the close of the comment period.  Extensions of the comment period may be granted for valid reasons provided a written request is received by the limiting date.  If no comments are received by that date, it will be considered that there are no objections.  Comments and requests for additional information should be submitted to:  

Van Truan, Project Manager and Southern Colorado Branch Chief

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District

200 South Santa Fe Avenue, Suite 301 

Pueblo, Colorado 81003

Phone: (719) 543-6915

Email: Van.A.Truan@usace.army.mil 

            Or 

Chris M. Parrish

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District 

Regulatory Division Cultural Resource Specialist

4101 Jefferson Plaza, NE

Albuquerque, NM 87109

Phone:  505.342.3374

Email: Christopher.M.Parrish@usace.army.mil

Please note that names and addresses of those who submit comments in response to this public notice may be made publicly available through the Freedom of Information Act.

                                                                                              DISTRICT ENGINEER

                                                                                              ALBUQUERQUE DISTRICT

                                                                                              CORPS OF ENGINEERS

 Enclosures: 

  1. Project Area Maps

  2. Photographs of Brook Street Bridge

  3. Design Alternatives Memo

  4. Structural Condition Assessment Report

  5. Bridge Demolition Plans

  6. Proposed Mitigation Plan