Public Notices & Alerts
10/8/2019 - FOSSIL HOUSE PUBLIC NOTICE:
The Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA-CFLHD), in coordination with Nevada State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service), is proposing to improve Fossil House Road and five low-water crossings along West Union Canyon Road in the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park on National Forest System land in Nye County. The project consists of the following activities:
Widen Fossil House Road to a uniform 18 feet from West Union Canyon Road to the Fossil House parking area (0.21 mile), including installing a culvert with riprap and reconstructing a gabion wall at a low-water crossing;
Install a 15-foot-tall soldier pile retaining wall along 400 feet of Fossil House Road to accommodate the widening, which would include guardrail and may involve drilling or pile driving;
Regrade the parking area in front of and behind Fossil House to improve drainage, including adding aggregate surface material to the front area and creating a berm for flow control in the back area; and
Improve five low-water crossings along 0.8 mile of West Union Canyon Road, including installing revet mattresses or riprap, concrete pads, gabion walls, and concrete barriers.
The project will require road closures in the southern portion of the State Park for an estimated 8 months, possibly starting in spring or summer of 2020. West Union Canyon Road would be closed from about 1 mile south of the town of Berlin to just past its intersection with Fossil House Road to the east, and all of Fossil House Road would be closed during the entire construction period. Access to recreation facilities along these roads would not be available during these closures; key facilities include the Fossil House, Nature Trail and Campground, Richmond Canyon Loop, and Union Canyon Interpretive Trail System. Access to recreation facilities in Berlin would still be available, and access to other recreation facilities on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest via other roads would remain available during construction. As part of the environmental review process, FHWA-CFLHD is considering the proposed road closure and its effects on the State Park, which is considered a Section 4(f) property under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Act of 1966 (Pub. L. 89-670, 80 Stat. 931; 23 CFR Part 774). The temporary closure and limited access to a portion of the State Park during construction are considered a temporary occupancy use of the Park under Section 4(f) and could be adverse due to the access limitations to key recreation facilities.
Based on the assessment of use, FHWA-CFLHD anticipates making a de minimis finding in concurrence with Nevada State Parks. This notice serves as the public notification of the proposed road closure and FHWA-CFLHD’s anticipated finding under Section 4(f) of the DOT Act. If you have any questions or comments regarding this finding, please submit written comments to the FHWA-CFLHD Project Manager listed below by no later than October 21, 2019.
Emilio Burgos, Project Manager
12300 West Dakota Avenue, Suite 380
Lakewood, CO 80228