The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) respectfully submitted comments and recommendations in response to the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) by Nevada County for the Edwards Bridge Replacement Project environmental review process as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
We encourage SYRCL members to also submit comments on this much needed new bridge. You can do so after reviewing documents that are available on the Nevada County Website. Written comments are due by 5:00pm on November 14, 2023.
The public hearing on the DEIR and the potential alternatives was on Wednesday, November 1st, 6:00 to 8:00pm at the Board of Supervisors Chamber at 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City, CA 95959.
Overall, SYRCL thanks the County for pursuing this Project and its beneficial impacts on safety and access to the Wild and Scenic South Yuba River. The State’s Bridge Inspection Report and Structure Inventory and Appraisal Report found the bridge structurally deficient, thus requiring a replacement bridge. SYRCL believes that the bridge replacement project is necessary for this community.
The County included two project alternatives and a no-build alternative in the original scoping document. Both alternatives leave the existing bridge in place for pedestrians and cyclists.
Alternative 1: Places the new bridge 60 feet upstream and leaves the existing road alignment.
Alternative 2: Places the new bridge 1,000 feet upstream, with a longer bridge span and new road alignment.
SYRCL believes that Alternative 2’s design, location, and height would greatly reduce environmental issues associated with bridge construction, more so than Alternative 1. While Alternative 1 would still place the bridge above the high-water river level, Alternative 2 would avoid the sensitive riparian zone altogether due to the higher elevation. As well, the new Alternative 2 bridge avoids foundations near the river, thus avoiding some of the hydraulic concerns associated with Alternative 1. Further, we believe that Alternative 2 will decrease the negative impacts associated with illegal parking along the road near the current parking area, blocking emergency medical and fire services from being able to access the site.
For more information:
The Draft Environmental Impact Report on Nevada County website: Edwards Crossing Bridge Replacement Project – Edwards Crossing_Draft EIR 2023 09_Draft.pdf (nevadacountyca.gov)
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