Letter: Bridge height homework was done



The March 4 editorial states, “Bridge height fiasco erupts: One river-clearance meeting could’ve prevented the newest CRC controversy,” stated “Only now, many years into the costly and oft-delayed project, are these two entities recognizing their dramatic difference of opinion.” I thought readers would be interested in the May 2008 Draft Environmental Impact Statement:

May 2008 CRC Draft EIS, Vol. 1, pg 3-89: “With the exception of some specialized vessels that use the river infrequently, commercial, cruise and recreational vessels require vertical clearances of less than 90 feet from the surface of the water to the bottom of the bridge deck. The project team, in consultation with the Coast Guard, established a vertical minimum of 95 feet clearance, so that new structures could be built without a lift-span. Higher vertical clearances would have violated restricted airspace for flight navigation.”

Exhibit 3.2-4 Summary of Vertical Clearance Requirements and Frequency of Use shows Marine Contractors requiring 100 feet to 110 feet (Source: Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. 2004): “The Coast Guard, which approves construction or alteration of the bridges, has stated that navigation conditions cannot become worse than existing conditions, if the CRC project designs are to receive permitting.”

Anne McEnerny-Ogle