DNR approves WRT permit
By Joseph Slacian | The Paper of Wabash County
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has approved an After-the-Fact Construction permit to build a pedestrian bridge over Lagro Creek.
The permit, filed by Amy Ford of Wabash River Trail Inc., was approved by James J. Hebenstreit, assistant director of the DNR’s Division of Wabash, on June 21.
The bridge, according to the certificate of approval, will be constructed at the site of a former bridge, and will span beyond the existing bridge abutments, of which the lower portions will remain in place.
The new bridge will have a span length of 44-feet, 6-inches, and will have an out-to-out width of 15-feet, 5-inches.
Roughly 900 feet of the trail and trailhead have already been constructed in the floodway, both east and west of the proposed bridge.
Upon completion, the asphalt trail will be 10- to 12-feet wide with another 2-feet of stone shoulders.
The bridge is part of the first phase of Wabash River Trails plan to construct a bicycle path across Wabash County. The first phase of the Lagro path will be approximately 1.8 miles long.
If all goes as planned, it will eventually extend to the west, connecting with the existing trail at Paradise Spring Historical Park.
The permit has a 24-month lifespan, and work must be completed by June 21, 2019.
While the permit was approved, it did contain several special conditions that WRT must follow. Those include:
- Revegetating all bare and disturbed areas within the project area using a mixture of grasses, sedges and wildflowers native to Northern Indiana and specifically for stream bank/floodway stabilization purposes as soon as possible upon completion.
- Not excavating in the waterway and minimize disturbance to bank vegetation and contain disturbance to within the project limits.
- Not constructing any temporary runarounds, access bridges, causeways, cofferdams, diversions or pumparounds.
- Having appropriately designed measures for controlling erosion and sediment implemented to prevent sediment from entering the stream or leaving the construction site. It also must maintain the measures until construction is complete and all disturbed areas are stabilized.
- Seeding and protecting disturbed stream banks that are 3:1 or steeper with heavy-duty net-free biodegradable erosion control blankets to minimize the entrapment and snaring of small wildlife such as snakes and turtles. It also must seed and apply mulch on all other disturbed areas.
- Not excavating or placing fill in any riparian wetland.
- Using a sealant that is environmentally friendly, free of asphalt and coal tar products and PAHs for initial construction and during future maintenance in order to avoid detrimental impacts upon aquatic species.
- Not placing riprap or disturbing the area between the western abutment of Lagro Creek that is currently providing wildlife passage.
- Except for the material used as backfill … it must place all excavated material landward of the floodway.
- Having all work conform with the existing bank at the upstream and downstream limits of the project site.
- Not leaving felled trees, brush or other debris in the floodway.
- Anchoring the bridge deck to prevent dislodging and/or flotation during high water events.
- Removing all construction debris from the floodway upon project completion.
- Keeping the bridge waterway opening free of debris and sediment at all times.
Opponents to the plan have 18 days from the mailing date of the notice of approval – June 23 – to appeal the measure.