Preparation of an EA/IS for Reconstruction of Bonnie Clare Road

The National Park Service (NPS), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration Central Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA), is considering reconstructing the Bonnie Clare Road within Death Valley National Park (park) from its intersection with Ubehebe Crater Road to the park boundary at the Nevada-California border. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act, the NPS is preparing an Environmental Assessment/Initial Study (EA/IS) for the project.

The purpose of the proposed project is to reestablish a safe, sustainable, resilient, and efficient driving route from the Nevada Beatty entrance to the North Highway (CA 190). The proposed project is needed because the majority of this section of Bonnie Clare Road was damaged or destroyed in October 2015, when the area experienced a major rainstorm and subsequent flash flood. The flood destroyed approximately 70% of the road. Bonnie Clare Road is currently closed to the public until the road can be reconstructed.

Preliminary options that have been identified for reconstruction of the road include reconstructing approximately 7.6 miles of the road from milepost (MP) 33.5 northeast to MP 40.9. The reconstructed road would have two 10-foot wide paved travel lanes, each with a 1-foot shoulder. From the existing water intake facility to Scotty's Castle (approximately 1.5 miles), a water line and utility lines would be placed beneath one travel lane of the road. The water line and utility lines would be placed in a 3-foot-wide by 6-foot-deep trench likely beneath the south bound travel lane. The NPS and FHWA are also preparing the design for the repair and fortification of a dirt berm that protects the water intake facility. The reconstructed road would generally follow the alignment of the pre-flood road, with some modifications as needed to elevate the road above the new fl ow line of Grapevine Canyon. The reconstructed road would be designed to avoid impacts on the canyon walls, accommodate channel movements associated with a 5- to 10-year flood event, lower traffic speeds in the canyon, and minimize impacts on archeological and ethnographic resources. Also under consideration is not reconstructing the road (the no action alternative).
Comment Period: Closed        03/23/2017 - 04/14/2017
Document Content:
9167 Newsletter 3-17.pdf9167 Newsletter 3-17.pdf   (6.4 MB, PDF file)
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