Letter: Balance possible in Amon Basin

June 6, 2014 

It is regrettable that a May 28 letter about the Rachel Road extension came across as demonizing the Richland public works director for fulfilling his responsibility: planning adequate transportation routes to serve our growing community.

Nobody dared to publicly challenge the assertion that Amon Creek Natural Preserve would be desecrated and irreparably damaged by building a bridge, perhaps 30 feet wide, across a narrow section of West Amon Creek at Rachel Road (or further south at the existing Bonneville Power Administration bridge site). Does that assertion really hold up under closer scrutiny?

The preserve is more than 50 acres, mostly north of its narrow southern extremity. A carefully designed bridge and roadway should not block connectivity between the preserve and lands to the south. If built at the Rachel Road alignment, the existing BPA bridge and road can be removed. The city explicitly retained the right to build a crossing in the already signed documents establishing the preserve.

As proposed at the last planning commission meeting, it's time for all parties to come together and find a creative approach, respecting the preserve and balancing interests of all constituents. Surely we have the talent and will in this community to accomplish that.

JOHN FOX, Richland

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