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The City contracted with RBF Consultants, Inc. (RBF) in May 2012 to prepare the necessary project <br />documents to construct the new bridge. Throughout the conceptual design phase, staff participated in <br />numerous meetings with residents from Balboa Island and Little Balboa Island and business groups to <br />explain the project and receive feedback. After receiving input from these public meetings, the City directed <br />RBF to proceed with the environmental documents, permits, and final construction documents. <br />Given the age and the below -grade uncertainties associated with the existing Bridge, the design team <br />spent considerable effort weighing the pros and cons between constructing the new bridge in two stages <br />(one-half at a time) or to install a rented temporary vehicle/pedestrian bridge at another location while the <br />Bridge is removed and replaced. The design team concluded that the structural integrity and the continued <br />service of a partially demolished bridge is questionable should unforeseen conditions be encountered <br />during construction. Therefore, staff recommends that uninterrupted access between the two islands be <br />maintained during construction. The temporary bridge can be installed across the Grand Canal at Balboa <br />Avenue and will not impede access to the residential garages fronting Balboa Avenue adjacent to the <br />Grand Canal. <br />While the new Bridge will appear essentially the same as the current design, a number of user <br />enhancements will be incorporated into the finished product. They include wider pedestrian sidewalks over <br />the Grand Canal; Code and ADA -compliant "switch -back" ramps and staircases at all "four corners" of the <br />bridge connecting the Grand Canal promenade to the bridge sidewalks; a reduction of support piles to <br />minimize the project footprint within the canal "floor'; landscaping at both bridge approaches to enhance <br />the overall aesthetics; and new seawall sections at the bridge abutments. <br />Following the approval of the Mitigated Negative Declaration and conceptual design, Public Works will <br />proceed the final design drawings, secure the Federal construction grant funding, and obtain the required <br />resource agency permits such as the California Coastal Commission, Caltrans, US Army Corps of <br />Engineers, and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board. Although the timeline for these <br />permits can substantially vary, staff expects to secure the permits by next summer and begin the bidding <br />process at that time. <br />Construction is expected to start in the Fall or Winter of 2015 and take 12-15 months to complete, which <br />will affect the 2016 summer season. Prior to construction commencing, staff will perform additional <br />outreach with the community and businesses to share additional project details. Staff encourages the <br />public to contact the Public Works Department for any questions or suggestions. <br />ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW: <br />A Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) has been prepared by RBF Consulting, in accordance with the <br />implementing guidelines of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the State CEQA Guidelines, <br />and City Council Policy K-3. The MND was routed to the City Council in advance of this staff report to allow <br />additional time to review the report. A copy of the MND is available on the City's website, at each Newport <br />Beach Public Library, and at the Public Works Department at City Hall. <br />The MND does not identify any component of the project that would result in a "potentially significant <br />impact" on the environment per CEQA guidelines. Based upon the analysis of the Initial Study, the <br />environmental categories within which the project would have either no impact or less than significant <br />impact were: Agricultural/Forestry Resources, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hydrology/Water Quality, Land <br />Use/Planning, Mineral Resources, Population/Housing, Public Services, Recreation, Transportation/Traffic, <br />and Utilities/Service Systems. Based upon the analysis of the Initial Study, the environmental categories <br />within which the project would have potentially significant impacts were: Aesthetics, Air Quality, Biological <br />Resources, Cultural Resources, Geology/Soils, Hazards/Hazardous Materials, and Noise. Specific <br />mitigation measures have been included to reduce the potentially significant adverse effects to a less than <br />significant level. A Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program (MMRP) has been prepared for <br />consideration and is attached with the Responses to Comments and Final IS/MND as Exhibit "B" of the <br />draft resolution (Attachment No. 2). <br />24-2 <br />