SR 75/282 Environmental Phase of Coronado Tunnel Project Underway

Date of Record: 2004-03-31
Environmental Phase of Coronado Tunnel Project Underway
Extensive Public Outreach Program Planned to Keep Residents Informed
Coronado, CA (March 31, 2004) - The City of Coronado has issued the official Notice to Proceed to the engineering firm of Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas, initiating the environmental phase of the State Route 75/282 Tunnel Project.

"The City is pleased to begin the environmental phase of this critical infrastructure project," said City Manager Mark Ochenduszko. "The Coronado tunnel will ease traffic congestion on City streets and help improve the overall quality of life in the community."

The environmental phase of the project will also include a comprehensive public outreach program designed to keep Coronado residents and business owners informed about important developments. Elements of the public outreach effort will include a project web site, bi-annual newsletter, video, PowerPoint presentation, school outreach program and various other communications activities.

"The citizens' advisory committee for the tunnel has encouraged the City to develop an extensive outreach program for this important project," said Sut Clark, Chairman of the Coronado Tunnel Commission. "We are thrilled this effort is moving forward and local residents will be able to actively participate."

Project planners estimate that this phase will take approximately four years to complete, working in conjunction with environmental agencies, such as the California Coastal Commission, California Department of Fish and Game, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Final materials produced by the City will include a Project Report and Environmental Document (PR/ED) and a Joint Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR).

Last week, the City hosted a kickoff meeting for the entire project team. Participants included representatives from the Federal Highway Administration, San Diego Association of Governments, Port District, Navy and Caltrans, in addition to an extensive group of subcontractors working in collaboration with Parsons Brinckerhoff. Among the collaborating firms are tunneling experts Hatch Mott MacDonald, geotechnical specialists Kleinfelder and public relations advisors Southwest Strategies.

The City of Coronado will be the "lead agency" for purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and Caltrans will be the liaison to the Federal Highway Administration, which will serve as lead agency on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) portion of the project in preparation of the EIS/EIR.

"The City has assembled an outstanding team to prepare the Project Report and Environmental Documents for the SR 75 Tunnel Project," said Ochenduszko. We are looking forward to working with all of the project partners, including Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration, as well as project consultants and key advisors to expedite the environmental phase of the tunnel project."

The City of Coronado is a full-service city providing services such as public safety through the Police and Fire Departments, construction and maintenance through the Public Services Department and the Engineering and Project Development Department, building and planning through the Community Development Department, and leisure activities through the Recreation Department, Library and public Golf Course.