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Finding

Susquehanna County

[35 Pa.B. 705]

   Under section 2002(b) of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 512(b)), the Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration makes the following written finding:

   The Department of Transportation (Department) plans to reconstruct SR 0547, Section 572, Fair Hill Road Bridge over Leslie Creek.

   The purpose of this project is to provide a structure meeting current design criteria to carry SR 0547 over Leslie Creek and maintain access to the Village of Harford. The existing structure is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.

   The selected alternative for the Fair Hill Road Bridge replacement over Leslie Creek, Alternative 1--Replacement of Structure on Alignment (Alternative 1), involves replacing the bridge in place. Minor widening would occur on both sides of the bridge.

   Alternative 1 requires the use of the bridge over Leslie Creek, a contributing element to the Harford Historic District. The bridge over Leslie Creek would be removed and the proposed replacement structure would require minor permanent right-of-way acquisitions both upstream and downstream. The total permanent right-of-way needed from the Harford Historic District for the proposed structure is approximately 98.57 square meters (1,061 square feet). Alternative 1 will also require temporary construction easements within the historic district for a temporary roadway/stream crossing, erosion control measures and a pedestrian bridge. These easements will total approximately 3,039.6 square meters (32,718 square feet) or .30 hectare (0.751 acre).

   These temporary easements meet the criteria for temporary occupancy of Section 2002 resources and are not considered ''uses.'' These easements will be of short duration and will be less than the time needed for construction of the project. The temporary occupancy will not change the ownership or result in the retention or long-term or indefinite interests in the land for transportation purposes. The temporary occupancy will not result in any temporary or permanent adverse changes to the activities, attributes or features which are important to the purposes and functions that qualify the resource for protection under Section 2002. The temporary occupancy will include only a minor amount of land.

   An evaluation of possible shifts or design modifications along with Total Avoidance and No-Build alternatives was conducted to minimize impact to the Harford Historic District. These alternatives were analyzed and do not appear to be prudent. Alternatives 2a and 2b utilize the same concept as Alternative 1 except one alternative would include relocating the bridge to the northwest and the other would relocate to the southeast. Both would require the construction of a severe reverse curve in order to tie back into the existing roadway. These curves would adversely affect roadway geometry.

   Alternative 1 will impact a contributing element to the Harford Historic District, a Section 2002 resource eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The undertaking was deemed to have an adverse effect on the Historic District. The effects will be mitigated through commitments detailed in a Memorandum of Agreement between the Army Corps of Engineers and the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Officer and concurred with by the Department.

   The Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration has considered the environmental, economic, social and other effects of the proposed project as enumerated in section 2002 of The Administrative Code of 1929 and has concluded that there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the project as designed and all reasonable steps have been taken to minimize effects.

GARY L. HOFFMAN, P. E.,   
Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 05-204. Filed for public inspection January 28, 2005, 9:00 a.m.]



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