Please Submit Your Comments on DEIS Proposed I-10 Mobile River Bridge.
(from Carol Adams-Davis with the Mobile Bay Group of the Sierra Club.) See the pdf of the letter I sent to Vincent Calametti here.
Dear Mr. Calametti,
I understand and support the stated purpose and needs of the I-10 Mobile River Bridge DEIS, that are to increase the capacity of Interstate-10 to meet existing and predicted future traffic volumes in the Mobile area, to provide a direct route for vehicles transporting hazardous materials, and minimize adverse impacts to the maritime industry.
To be clear, I support an I-10 bridge, but definitely not the Aternative B Preferred Route location. All reasonable and smart alternative routes should have been included and considered at a comparable level of detail in the DEIS, and they were not.
As you know, the USDOT Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment released in June 2014, focuses on Mobile and examines the vulnerability of its transportation infrastructure to climate change. The analysis information concludes that the locations of the Alternative A Route, the Alternative B Route and the Alternative B Preferred Route, all tying in to the existing I-10 Bayway, are highly vulnerable to current storms and storm surge that could conceivably happen today, and of course highly vulnerable to more intense storms, coupled with sea level rise of the future.
USDOT, Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure: The Gulf Coast Study, Phase 2 Task 3.1: Screening for Vulnerability http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/climate_change/adaptation/ongoing_and_current _research/gulf_coast_study/phase2_task3/index.cfm
Hence, the DEIS should include a climate change mitigation section.
In light of this documented vulnerability, I cannot imagine having success in seeking funding for a bridge in the Alternative B Preferred Route location.
Dr. Bernard H. Eichold, II, MD, Director of the Mobile County Board of Health, has sited another popular route, not included in the DEIS, but publicly supported for years. If you ￼￼1 start just east of Michigan Ave on existing I-10 and go straight across the bay using the north end of McDuffie Island and by Little Sand Island you will end up in the Daphne area, where ALDOT can design an appropriate connection to the existing I-10 on the Eastern Shore. This might even present an opportunity to mitigate the longstanding problems on the existing Highway 98. This bridge location could also minimize the travel required to access It.
Dr. Eichold’s suggested route would avoid negative impacts on the historic districts, parks, residential neighborhoods, schools, and nursing homes. It would alleviate problems during the lengthy construction period regarding noise in downtown, air quality issues downtown, vibrations to historic buildings, settling after completion, closing tourist attractions, etc. The existing industrial businesses and operations would not have to function in the shadows of a bridge, and persons living in the Down the Bay Peninsula Community would not have to live under a bridge.
The vertical clearance would be the same as the Alternative B Preferred Bridge but the incline would be much less. The distance of the maximum elevation clearance span could be much longer, giving the Maritime Industry more volume, flexibility, commercial opportunity, and leeway. Vehicles transporting hazardous materials would not have to shift gears up and down an intense incline, and there would be no potentially hazardous curve leading in to the bridge as in the Alternative B Preferred Bridge design.
The new independent I-10 Bridge in this location would be able to survive a major tropical storm and be a much better evacuation route alternative. Mobile and Baldwin Counties would be able to receive the much-needed supplies, while the injured could be transported to the appropriate medical facilities.
This bridge would be more cost efficient than the other proposals because it would still be here at the end of the century and beyond. The State of Alabama cannot afford to build an inadequate structure that is improperly located.
Of course, the new bridge should be accessible to all travellers, so it should include a pedestrian/bicycle facility, which was omitted in the DEIS. Please feel free to contact me anytime for further explantion and clarification!
Resident of Leinkauf Neignborhood Historic District
You can write a letter or use the comment form (found here). I preferred not to use the comment form, but whatever works best for you. You can email, fax or mail your comments. Public comment deadline is November 7, 2014.
2014 Blount County Solar Homes Tour
The 2014 Blount County Solar Homes tour is October 4th and 5th in the community of Royal. There are 4 homes on the tour (Retro-fit, Straw Bale, Clerestory and Dodeca-Yurt) that demonstrate
hands-on energy efficiency/independence and sustainability. All houses are within a 10 minute drive of each other. Each home’s tour is scheduled on the hour and takes approximately 30 minutes. You
can visit as many as you like but you do have to register and receive a schedule and map. There is a 2 hour networking brown-bag lunch on Saturday, October 4, including a showing of the energy-saving video Kilowatt Ours. Technologies you will see on the tour include passive solar designs, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that generate electricity and drain back solar water heating systems. Other items of interest include organic gardens, home orchards, water catchment systems and vermi (worms) and thermal composting.
For more information and to register contact: email@example.com or call Daryl Bergquist at 205 429-3088 The tour is free. Registration is required, limited and rolling in fast. So register now! The American Solar Energy Society is the national organizer of this annual solar tour. www.ases.org
Looking for a Few Good ExCom members
From the North Alabama Sierra Club: Just a reminder that we elect new Excom members every December. It doesn’t take a lot of your time, you make good new friends and you help make a difference. Take a look at the list of the ExCom offices below and think about what you might be able to contribute. Come November when we ask for nominees, let us know if you want to help.
2014 ExCom Members
Chair /Membership Liz Poleretzky
Vice Chair/Programs Steve Jackson
Secretary/Chapter Delegate Jennifer Gresham
Treasurer Charlie Cohen
Environmental Education Charlotte Buening
Outings Tom Burley
Energy Consultant Gretel Johnston
Political/Conservation Chair Joe Imhof
Programs Steve Jackson
Publicity Jayanthi Srikishen
Social Media Michael Stewart/Sandy Kiplinger
Newsletter Jack Drost
Web Page Steven Baty
Take action to protect your community from exploding oil trains
Trains carrying dangerous, highly explosive fuels travel through countless communities every day. You may be one of the 25 million Americans living in the blast zone of explosive oil trains without even knowing it.
After a record-breaking year of oil train derailments, spills, and explosions, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has called these dangerous oil trains an "imminent hazard" to the public. That's why it's proposed new standards to make these shipments safer. But oil and rail companies don't want to pay more to make oil trains safer. Take Action here.
New Bike & Pedestrian Safety Initiative
(from Conservation Alabama) The U.S. Department of Transportation announced "Safer People, Safer Streets," an 18-month initiative designed to increase walking and biking and reduce injuries to bikers and pedestrians. Road safety assessments will be conducted in each state, and communities will be encouraged to create environments that are friendly to everyone who uses the road. The full plan can be found here.