TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The intent of this Public Notice is to provide an opportunity for the public to express their views on proposed adverse effects to historic properties within a proposed restoration project.
APPLICANT: Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC)
150 S. Front Street Suite 210
Columbus, Ohio 43215
LOCATION: The proposed project is located (Latitude: 39.9554 N, Longitude: -83.0075 W) within the Scioto River approximately 1,000 linear feet south of the CSX/Norfolk Southern railroad bridge to the Confluence Park in the City of Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. A project location map is attached as Sheet 1.
DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK: The purpose of this Public Notice is to solicit comments regarding the proposed adverse affects to historic properties within the subject site.
The applicant has requested a Department of the Army (DA) permit to discharge approximately 235,000 cubic yards of dredged and/or fill material into a total of approximately 33 acres of the Scioto River for the restoration of approximately 7,000 linear feet of the river through the removal of the Main Street lowhead dam. The restoration projection would require the discharge of approximately 35,000 cubic yards of dredged and/or fill material into 1.75 acres (580 linear feet) of the river for the removal of the lowhead dam structure. Approximately 200,000 cubic yards of dredged and/or fill material would be discharged below the ordinary high water mark of 31.25 acres (6,420 linear) of the river to re-establish approximately 150 feet of floodplain and riparian areas along both sides of the river in accordance with natural stream channel design concepts. The purpose of the project is to restore the natural profile and function to a segment of the river that is being impounded by the lowhead dam. The Scioto River has over-widened itself (average width of 520 feet) since the dam was constructed in 1918. The removal of the dam and subsequent stream restoration would be expected to return the river to its natural width of approximately 300 feet with approximately 300 feet of re-established floodplain and riparian corridor.
The Corps is currently evaluating the proposed activities for authorization under Nationwide Permit (NWP) #27 (Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Establishment, and Enhancement Activities). General Condition #20 of the NWPs states no activity which may affect historic properties eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is authorized until the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has complied with the provisions of 33 CFR Part 325 Appendix C. This condition also states the applicant must notify our office if the proposed activity may affect any historic property listed, determined to be eligible, or which the prospective permittee has reason to believe are eligible for listing on the NRHP. The Corps is mandated by the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) to ensure that no federal undertaking, including a Corps permit action, which may affect historic resources, is commenced before the impacts of such action are considered and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) are provided an opportunity to comment as required by the NHPA, 36 CFR 800, and 33 CFR 325, Appendix C.
To date the following reports have been prepared and coordinated with the SHPO for their review and comment:
- History/Architecture Survey prepared by ASC Group (dated January 31, 2013) and titled History/Architecture Survey for the Scioto Greenway Project in the City of Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio;
- Phase I Archeological Work Plan prepared by ASC Group (dated April 25, 2013) and titled Phase I Archaeological Work Plan for Scioto Greenways Project, Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio;
- Identification of Effects Report prepared by ASC Group (dated July 3, 2013) and titled Identification of Effects Report for the Scioto Greenways Project in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio; and
- Phase I Archaeological Survey prepared by ASC Group (dated July 16, 2013) and titled Phase I Archaeological Survey for the Scioto Greenways Project in the City of Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio; and
- Addendum Identification of Effects Report prepared by ASC Group (dated September 13, 2013) and titled Addendum Identification of Effects Report for the Scioto Greenway Project, Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio.
In addition, there have been numerous conference calls and two public meetings to involve interested parties in discussions of how this proposed undertaking may have an adverse effect on historic properties. Through consultation with the SHPO and based on information supplied by the applicant, the Corps has determined and the SHPO has concurred that this proposed undertaking will have an adverse effect (due to the loss of material integrity) on the Main Street Dam and the Columbus Civic Center Historic District (including the Central High School and the Ohio State Office Building) both eligible for inclusion on the NRHP. Preliminary options to resolve the proposed adverse effects have been provided by the applicant in the draft Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA) Between The United States Army Corps Of Engineers, The Ohio State Historic Preservation Office, The City Of Columbus, And The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation Regarding The Scioto Greeenways Project On The Scioto River In Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio (submitted on September 20, 2013). A copy of the draft MOA is available upon request. Therefore, this Public Notice serves to solicit public input on potential mitigation activities to resolve the proposed adverse effects.
PUBLIC INTEREST: The Corps is soliciting comments from the public, Federal, state and local agencies and officials, Indian Tribes and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the proposed adverse effect on historic properties. Should you wish to express your views on the undertaking’s effects on historic properties, or provide comments, objections or mitigation proposals associated with the proposed undertaking, please forward this information to our office prior to the close of the comment period for this Public Notice.
CLOSE OF COMMENT PERIOD: All comments pertaining to this Public Notice must reach this office on or before the close of the comment period listed on page one of this Public Notice. Persons wishing to submit comments or objections concerning this proposal should write:
United States Army Corps of Engineers
ATTN: CELRH-RD-N-Public Notice No. LRH-2012-131-SCR
502 8th Street
Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070
Please note, the names and addresses of those who submit comments in response to this Public Notice become part of our administrative record and, as such, are available to the public under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. If you have any questions concerning this public notice, please call Ms. Lee A. Robinette of my staff at 304-399-5930.