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Environmental Assessment Rehabilitate Newfound Gap Road and Reconstruct Stone Masonry Guardwalls

The National Park Service proposes to rehabilitate Newfound Gap Road and Reconstruct Stone Masonry Guardwalls Milepost 0.0 to Milepost 14.5, Sevier County, Tennessee. The EA was released today for your review and comment.

This action is needed to address the following: deterioration of the road, safety concerns, circulation and parking problems, impacts on the historic character of Newfound Gap Road as a result of the continued deterioration of the road, and the increasing cost of routine maintenance and intermittent repairs due to the continuing deterioration of the road and guardwalls.

The EA examines two alternatives; no action and the NPS preferred alternative. The preferred alternative consists of improving the safety of Newfound Gap Road, improving the condition of the road and associated features, and maintaining the integrity of Park resources. Specific activities under the proposed action, would include: rehabilitation of the road surface, rehabilitation of road shoulders where needed, reconstruction of settled sections of roadway to restore stability of embankment, rehabilitation of existing stone masonry guardwalls, reconstruction of guardwall sections to meet current crashworthiness criteria in areas with a demonstrated safety risk, and adding new guardwall and/or guardrail extensions or transitions in areas with a demonstrated safety risk.

Comment Period: Closed        03/22/2010 - 04/21/2010
Topic Questions Instructions:
Comments are generally considered substantive if the commenter raises an issue or question (with reasonable basis) regarding new information, suggests feasible alternatives or mitigation measures, or provides important new information related to:

• A law or regulation
• Agency procedure or performance
• Compliance with stated objectives
• Validity and adequacy of impact (environmental) analysis
• Matters of practical or procedural importance

Non-substantive comments include:

• Factual information with no bearing on determination of
significant impact
• Information not related to the issues or impact analysis
• Corrections that have no bearing on the analysis
• Editorial changes; format suggestions
• Information outside the scope of the document (i.e. criticism on
existing policies, laws, guidelines outside the scope of the plan)
• Information on other projects not related to the document
• Opinions, personal judgments, grievances, complaints about the
project or other projects
• Support or lack of support for a project; votes (for or against
the project)

While both substantive and non-substantive comments are considered in the review of the EA and the preparation of the decision document, generally substantive comments are more helpful to decision makers.
Topic Questions:
1. Ideally, comments on an environment assessment assess the adequacy of the document in disclosing and evaluating a project's effect on the environment. Comments are most useful if they are as specific as possible and do the following:

• Discuss a particular plan element or alternative
• Identify incomplete or incorrect information
• Offer reasons why a particular alternative or plan element would
or would not work
• Offer a reasonable, new plan element or completely new alternative
that could help accomplish the stated goals
• Point out discrepancies between legal mandates and proposals
• Highlight deficiencies in the analysis of environmental
• Provide information on how you use the park and how particular
proposals in the planning document would affect that use
Document Content:
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