OTR Presentation for Fremont County Public Hearing

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Transcript OTR Presentation for Fremont County Public Hearing

Over The River

Project for the Arkansas River

State of Colorado

Application to Fremont County for a Temporary Use Permit

The artists plan to suspend 5.9 miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels high above the Arkansas River

© Christo 2009; Photo: Andre Grossman


Translucent fabric panels will emphasize the configuration of the river as it meanders, winds and bends

© Christo 1999; Photo: Wolfgang Volz


Two-week exhibition period proposed for August of 2014

© Christo, 2008; Photo by Andre Grossman


42 miles of river between Salida and Cañon City


Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Phases of Over The River

• • • • •

Permitting Process

EIS phase complete and BLM permit secured Division of Parks & Wildlife and State Land Board approvals secured County permitting process currently underway Currently securing permit from CDOT Event Management Planning underway


In phases over two years, beginning in July 2012, assuming all permits and agreements are obtained.


Planned for two consecutive weeks in August 2014


Approx. three months


OTR Corp.’s Responses to County Staff Report of Jan. 24, 2012 & Proposed Permit Conditions

• OTR Corp.’s complete response in letter of Jan. 30, 2012 • Most proposed conditions are reasonable and acceptable • Some proposed conditions duplicate or conflict with BLM/State permit conditions, creating confusion or dual standards • Some proposed conditions are already under another agency’s jurisdiction to enforce • OTR Corp.’s letter suggests alternative conditions to address issues © Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz 7

© Christo 2006; Photo: Andre Grossman

Economic Benefits According to the BLM’s analysis, Over The River will:

• Attract 416,000 visitors and generate over $121 million in total economic output.

ROD at 2. • Generate over $1.5 million in statewide tax revenue


FEIS at 4-145.

• Create $25.7 million in personal income . FEIS at 4-145. 8

Local Benefits

BLM’s analysis projects the following local benefits: • “Total economic output due to visitor spending during the exhibition is estimated to be about $50 million, including

$22.2 million in Fremont and Chaffee counties

.” FEIS at 4-137 • “Approximately 75% of total spending on materials and supplies would occur within Colorado, including about

$1.5 million of materials that would be purchased within Chaffee and Fremont counties

.” FEIS at 4-125. • Over

620 temporary jobs

will be created, and the

majority of these hires will be local residents

. Wages paid to employees will exceed $6.5 million. FEIS at 4-145. • The total economic output within Fremont, Chaffee, Pueblo and El Paso counties during installation and removal would amount to about

$25.8 million


FEIS at 4-126. • The rafting industry is expected to see an increase of

more than $3.4 million in revenue

during the life of the project, as well as an additional $863,000 increase in employee earnings. FEIS at 4-145. 9

Additional Benefits of OTR Project

© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz

• Stored UP railcars have been removed from the Valley.

• New habitat for bighorn sheep is being provided through habitat treatment work currently in progress. Mitigation may increase the population of bighorn sheep in the Arkansas Valley. 10

Key Findings from the BLM’s Analysis

• • “Overall, impacts to local businesses and commercial traffic as a result of traffic delays during installation and removal would be negligible to minor and short term” FEIS at 4-132.

The Final EIS identifies no “Significant Impacts” to any terrestrial, avian or aquatic wildlife as a result of Over The River when the identified mitigation measures are implemented. FEIS at S-15 - S-16.

© Christo 2010; Photo: Wolfgang Volz

• “Overall, the quality of life for most residents would be unaffected by installation and removal activities. The influx of additional visitor spending and temporary increase in the incomes of local residents would be a benefit to the area .” FEIS at 4-134.


Comprehensive Mitigation

• OTR’s permit application incorporates the more than 100 mitigation measures already identified in the EIS. These measures avoid or minimize the potential impacts. • Fremont and Chaffee Counties worked closely with the BLM as cooperating agencies to develop this comprehensive set of solutions for

Over The River


© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz


Installation Facts

• While the anchor installation phase is about two years, the impact on any one location is brief. In the Final EIS, BLM explains: “At a specific panel location . . . the noise and activity associated with drilling would remain within 0.25 mile during a 5-day period and then move beyond that distance, resulting in a diminishment of noise and other disturbances at any one location….” FEIS at 4-7 . • Noise from drilling would be comparable to existing truck and traffic noise on Highway 50. FEIS at 4-327.

© Christo, 2006; Photo by Andre Grossman


Safety Measures Included in the FEIS

© Christo, 2007; Photo by Andre Grossman

• Approximately 21 law enforcement personnel will “be stationed throughout the greater project area ... to ensure no-stopping restrictions are observed, to maintain orderly traffic flow, [and] to ensure rapid incident response.” FEIS at 4-201. • Higher than normal levels of traffic and driver distractions “[will] be offset to some degree by slower travel speeds throughout the corridor (lower average accident severity) and a high level of monitoring and law enforcement presence.” FEIS at 4-230. 14

Safety Measures Included in the FEIS

• Approximately 100 to 150 monitors [will] be stationed throughout the corridor … to maintain surveillance” and provide communication “in the event of an emergency.” FEIS at 4-202. • “Local fire departments will be provided with supplementary


communications equipment, if necessary. To ensure that a small fire would be controlled quickly, smaller caches of handheld firefighting equipment would be located at the Vallie Bridge Limited Rest Stop. All work crews would be trained in quick response wildfire suppression techniques as well.” FEIS at 4-202. 15

Safety Measures

• Medical concerns will be addressed every day from sunrise to sunset during the week of fabric blossoming, the two week exhibition, and the first week of the removal phase. FEIS at 4-202. • A medical helicopter will be staged at the Texas Creek Staging Area.

FEIS at 4-202. http://www.coleparmer.com/buy/product/3862-safety-sign-first-aid-station symbol-7-x-10-plastic.html

• An ambulance with paramedics will be staged at Texas Creek and Parkdale Recreation sites.

FEIS at 4-202. • First aid stations staffed by trained paramedics will be located at each of the limited rest stops and information centers in the corridor. FEIS at 4-202. 16

Management of Traffic – OTR Priorities

© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Public Safety is of prime importance

• Prevent diversion to local roads through Adaptive Traffic Management.

• Provide for safe passage of emergency vehicles.

• Minimize delays to the traveling public.

• Use methods that have worked – techniques currently used by CDOT on US 50 maintenance.

• Ensure public is fully informed through an aggressive public information campaign



Management of Traffic – Construction Phase

• • •

Done under CDOT Special Use permit

Uses temporary 400-foot work zone lane closure

Similar to traffic control used for routine CDOT maintenance activities • Expected cumulative delay 10 minutes or less corridor-wide • Westbound lane (riverside lane) during daylight hours


• No closures allowed from Memorial Day to Labor Day


close both lanes in any location at the same time

© Christo 2009; Photo: Wolfgang Volz



• As shown, state-of-the-art equipment to be used for installation on the highway side of the river requires only a single lane of US 50. • All temporary lane closures will comply with CDOT regulations. 19

Management of Traffic – Construction Phase Lane closure schedule

• Two temporary work zones corridor wide for only 27 days.

• 10-mile spacing of temporary lane closures. • Will create gaps for left turns off of US 50.

• Average traffic delay will be 3-5 minutes per work zone.

• No diversion to County roads.

20 © Christo 2007; Photo: André Grossmann

Management of Traffic – Construction Phase Lane Shift with Continued Two-Way Traffic

• Shifts westbound lane while maintaining two-way traffic • Allows two full lanes open to traffic • Use in 3 lane sections and areas with wide shoulders • Occurs only during allowable time periods © Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz 21

Management of Traffic – Exhibition Phase

• No pedestrian travel along US 50 within 0.5 miles of panel areas and/or other areas as deemed necessary by BLM and State Parks Staff.

• All pullouts on US 50 and County Road 45 within 0.5 miles of any fabric panel section will be closed.

• CDOT will not divert traffic to County roads.

© Christo 2010; Photo: André Grossmann 22

Management of Traffic – Exhibition Phase

• Bicycle travel along US 50 prohibited on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

• No organized bicycle events would be allowed on US 50 during the exhibition.

• Overweight, oversize and hazardous cargo trucks will be restricted from the site during the exhibition period (by CDOT permit) and banned from County roads.

• Temporary speed reductions of 10 mph will be posted near all fabric panel areas.

23 © Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Management of Traffic – Exhibition Phase

• Vehicles will not be allowed to stop within 0.5 miles of a fabric panel section.

• Install and enforce temporary traffic signs on all County roads intersecting US 50 (mile posts 226 and 269) to restrict these roads to local traffic only.

© Christo 2008; Photo: Wolfgang Volz 24

Travel Demand Management (TDM) Plan

Goal of reducing peak period travel delays and enhancing visitor experience during exhibition phase

© Christo 2006; Photo: Wolfgang Volz • TDM Plan will include measures to shift anticipated peak period visitation to off-peak periods - Increase carpooling - Use of vans, shuttles and buses • Includes targeted messages - Traditional media (television, radio, newspapers) - Social media (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and newer tools that emerge by 2014) 25

BLM’s Analysis of Wildlife

• The mitigation plan will have long-term benefits for the local bighorn sheep population by providing a wildlife corridor previously identified by the Colorado Division of Wildlife as a habitat enhancement. ROD at 28. • Implementation of the bighorn sheep mitigation measures “will ensure that bighorn sheep of the Arkansas River canyon do not experience unacceptable impacts as a result of the project


Mike King, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources

© Christo, 2010; Photo by Andre Grossman


Bighorn Sheep Mitigation

http://www.examiner.com/environmental-news-in-denver/bighorn sheep-poaching-debeque-points-to-tougher-penalties • OTR, in coordination with Colorado Parks & Wildlife, has begun implementing a bighorn sheep habitat treatment project at a site chosen by Colorado Division of Wildlife.

• “A bighorn sheep adaptive management program, funded by the Artist, will allow Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the BLM to implement future wildlife mitigation identified during the project.” BLM news release: July 28, 2011. • “Sensitive bighorn sheep lambing areas have been identified and will be avoided during lambing periods.” FEIS at 4-7. 27


86% of the river and natural landscape within the 42-mile project area will be untouched by

Over The River


• • The Final EIS states that “at least 40% of the light would pass through the fabric, the extent of shading would be considered a negligible to moderate level.” FEIS at 4-33.

Additionally, “shade is an important habitat parameter for trout. Increased shade levels in the panel sections of the river for a short-term period would not adversely affect the ecological or physiological functions of trout species.” FEIS at 4-33.

• Seasonal restrictions on construction activities will reduce impacts to angling. FEIS 4-261.

• • • Construction is temporary in any one spot; the impact on any one location is brief.

Placement of fabric panels has been avoided in locations highly utilized by recreationalists.

All AHRA and developed recreation sites would remain open throughout the project for recreational access.


Removal and Restoration

• All visible elements of the project will be removed and the surface level holes will be refilled with BLM-approved, weed-free top soil. • The ground will be restored to its original contours, and any areas requiring re-vegetation will be seeded with a native plant mix. • There will be no lasting environmental impacts after the project is complete.

© Christo 2008; Photo: Andre Grossman


A Growing List of Supporters

Many organizations have already pledged their support of Over The River. Below is a partial list of the individuals and organizations that have submitted statements of support to date.

• Action 22 • Arkansas River Outfitters Association • Art Works For the Heart of the Rockies • Mike Bandera, President of Royal Gorge Bridge & Park • U.S. Senator Michael Bennet • City Council of Cañon City • Cañon City Chamber of Commerce and Doug Shane • Chaffee County Visitors Bureau • Colorado Council on the Arts • Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau • Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center • Colorado Springs Gazette • COPPeR • Denver Art Museum • Maggie Divelbiss and the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center Board of Trustees • Bill Dvorak, President of Dvorak Expeditions • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Fremont Center for the Arts Fremont Community Foundation Fremont County Tourism Council Governor John Hickenlooper Dr. Robin Gooldy, Superintendent of Cañon City Schools Colorado State Senator Kevin Grantham Mike King, Director of Colorado Department of Natural Resources U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn The Mountain Mail Andy Neinas, President of Echo Canyon River Expeditions George Turner, Former Executive Director of the Cañon City Chamber The Pueblo Chieftain U.S. Senator Mark Udall Visit Denver – Denver Convention & Visitors Bureau Western Colorado Center for the Arts Whitewater Adventure Outfitters 30

Letters of Support

“The notoriety and free positive publicity that

Over the River

will bring to our area could not be purchased by even the most ambitious advertising budgets of all regional tourism industry concerns combined. … In short, it is difficult to imagine a project that could be more advantageous to our community.”

Cañon City Council

© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz

“I would like to again establish our commitment for the Project and our enthusiasm for the tourism opportunities that this Project will bring . . . The impact as far as recognition for Cañon City, Fremont County, and the Royal Gorge area would be of a value that could never be equaled in a financial ‘return on investment.’”

Doug Shane, Executive Director, Cañon City Chamber of Commerce


Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Letters of Support

“Our support is based not only on the significant economic boost that this project will provide to our region, but also on the outstanding reputation of the artists. … I have listened to (Christo) share his vision for the project and am convinced that he and Jeanne Claude will create a work of art that will be beautiful and compelling not only to our visitors but to our local residents as well. I am confident that the artists and their expert team are reviewing and accommodating every reasonable environmental and economic concern.”

Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau

“The project promises to bring attention from around the world to the Fremont County area, and will provide an enormous positive cultural and economic impact to the area and to the entire region.”

Fremont Center for the Arts


Letters of Support


Over The River

) will not only bring ‘stimulation to our economy’ but will also create ‘top of mind awareness’ for years to come, not only regionally but nationally as well as internationally.”

Fremont County Tourism Council


Over The River

) has been a wonderful addition to what we offer our students. The artists have made their time and talents available to some of our schools. … Seeing the finished project on display to the world will be a great day for all of us, and something for our part of the world to be proud of.”

Robin Gooldy, Superintendent, Canon City Schools

© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz


© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Letters of Support

“I am enthusiastically in favor of

Over The River

, as I think it will bring significant economic benefit to the entire region. As a former Cañon City Councilman, I have also been impressed with the artists’ willingness to work with our community to resolve issues and concerns. At the end of the day, I think it’s going to be a very positive project for not only the Arkansas River region but for all of Colorado.”

Kevin Grantham, Colorado State Senator, District Two


Letters of Support

“Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s world famous art has the potential to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to southern Colorado and enhance our state’s growing cultural prominence. This project will draw attention to the natural beauty of the Arkansas River and its surrounding communities. … I look forward to being of assistance in this project and consider it a privilege to have the chance to host Christo and Jeanne Claude in my District.”

Congressman Doug Lamborn, U.S. Representative from Colorado’s 5th District

Photo: Wolfgang Volz