Lest we lose track of this, I am writing to confirm that there will be another community meeting concerning the plans for the major changes in the current Greenway running between our homes on Hillcrest and Upland Drives.
The community meeting on November 30th, in reality, consisted largely of Engineering's presentation of their proposals. There was little time left for our questions and discussion concerning the specifics of the plans, especially of plan #2 which seems to be the default position.
Improvements needed to Option 2--some examples
- Will the bid specify the size of the equipment used?
- How will the permissible construction corridor be defined to the contractors? Will there be a fence? Will it be cordoned off in some fashion? Will there be aggressive supervision by Engineering staff?
- Will there be penalties for property damage outside the construction zone, and will the penalties be sufficiently large to serve as incentive for careful work in that narrow valley? (those fragile hillsides simply cannot tolerate additional damage)
Engineering's decision to give us an open stream option was very welcome - thank you. Concerning the riprap to be used in the water channel: In an email to my wife prior to the meeting, Alder Schmidt assured us that " the details of the riprap are something we can talk about at the meeting." We did not have opportunity to do that.
We need a discussion of the quality, density and placement of the riprap. The photo presented at the meeting of the riprap in the southwest bike way water channel was especially alarming. As was Lisa's statement that the laying of the riprap would probably entail a dump truck backing its way out of the channel and leaving piles of stone behind it as it pulled away.
The riprap discussion needs to include photos of exactly what kind of stone will be used (remember, this is our back-yard, not an isolated ravine far from regular public view). We also need more detail on how it will be installed -- dumped in a heap? Installed with some care along the water path? Will special attention be paid to the "corners" of the channel where the water is most likely to continue to cause erosion?
A detailed riprap plan should be an explicit part of the project bid, so that both we and Engineering are clear on what is expected to happen. It should include the type of stone to be used, and the processes by which it will be installed.
A complete project proposal
At this next meeting also, we need to see a proposal that encompasses the project as a whole. What we saw on November 30th were Engineering's plans for their responsibilities in the Greenway. As Lisa put it, "We only do infrastructure."
What we need to see for our review and comment, BEFORE THE PROJECT BEGINS, is a complete plan. Any complete plan for the work to be done in the Greenway and in our backyards should include who exactly will be responsible for restoring the site to its rustic beauty, how will that be done, how will it be funded, and what is the time frame.
Will landscaping and site restoration be included in Engineering's bid? Will it be in a separate bid? We want to see a detailed landscaping plan design, and a detailed bid prepared, prior to the onset of the project. Last time, the promised landscaping never took place. This way , it is assured to happen.
As Pam Minden pointed out so eloquently at the meeting, the issue here is, of course, that the Valley is not just a sewer -- it is our home.
We look forward to a full work proposal, one in which the Engineering work is only one portion, a proposal that includes the specific processes by which the Greenway will be repaired and rebuilt once Engineering leaves.