Letter: No to Rachel Road

June 24, 2014 

There has been discussion about the environmental and educational value of Amon Creek Natural Preserve to the Tri-Cities, as well as the effect of the proposed Rachel Road extension across this wetland.

It has been argued that the Rachel Road extension may be a bridge over the wetland, so there will be no effect. That is not true -- bridges have supports, and the consequences of the construction will be much larger than the footprint of the bridge supports. For example, how will bridge runoff be mitigated in the winter when de-icers are used? Furthermore, bisecting the wetland results in habitat fragmentation, and the increased road noise will surely affect wildlife and humans who enjoy the tranquility of the area.

I worked in environmental cleanup, and am familiar with the Comprehensive Environmental Restoration and Liability Act, and its common application to wetlands. A road would harm the preserve. Should not the concept of mitigation apply? Wetlands are complex, very expensive to create and in short supply. So, where would we create a wetland to replace what is compromised by the Rachel Road extension? The easiest solution is to just simply not build the Rachel Road extension.

PAMELA DOCTOR, Richland

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