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TS: Railroad seeks approval for levee repairs
Tuesday 1 Apr 2008, 07:24
Filed under: Humboldt, NCRA, Railroad

Article Launched: 04/01/2008 01:15:48 AM PDTThe North Coast Railroad Authority would be allowed to repair another 2,600 feet of failing bay side levee if its permit application with the California Coastal Commission is approved on April 11 in Santa Barbara.

Commission staff have recommended approval of the project with conditions. Other emergency work done in 2007 would be permanently approved through the commission, including repairs to 500 feet of severely damaged embankment just north of the King Salmon power plant.

For years the levee between the power plant and Elk River Wildlife Area was weakened by erosion from Humboldt Bay. Pasture owned by the City of Eureka was sometimes flooded with bay water during high tides and storms. A 14-inch sewer line owned by the Humboldt Community Services District was also threatened.

The commission’s executive director authorized the emergency work in 2007. That involved removing hundreds of cubic yards of concrete, rebar, railroad cars and other graffiti-covered junk that marked the stretch of embankment. The contractor also discovered 800 old creosote-treated railroad ties that had been buried in the railroad right-of-way, according to the commission report. Those were removed and sent to be burned in an approved cogeneration power plant in Redding.

The second part of the project would involve filling in low spots and voids in the bank with about 3,350 cubic yards of quarry rock, the report reads.

Commission staff are asking, as part of conditions of approval, for documentation of removing the railroad ties and other debris, the preparation of a debris disposal plan and an archaeological plan.

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