Protecting Waukesha County's Natural Resourses since 1978
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Latest News & Comments
|Posted on December 18, 2013 at 9:25 PM|
Here's the first winter campaign "Take Action" e-mail message from the Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass. It is important that you pass this message on to all e-mail lists, neighbors and family members that you can think of! Letters do not need to come from just people who live in the local community. All letters are important! It's important that all of us speak up!
This winter may be our last chance to stop or delay the Final Environmental Impact Statement!
This time we are asking that you contact the Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE). The ACOE is most concerned with the environmental aspects of the Bypass project.
E-Mail Rebecca Graser and Marie Kopka, United States Army Corp of Engineers at the e-mails listed below. Please take this action by December 31, 2013.
E-mail to all three e-mail addresses; [email protected] and [email protected] and [email protected]
Write your own letter or use the Sample Letter below. Copy and paste this entire letter into your e-mail. Put it in your own words and add any key points you might like to make.
Dear Ms Graser and Ms Kopka,
I'm writing you in regards to the proposed building of the West Waukesha Bypass in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Specifically I'm concerned about the terrible environmental consequences this project will have on the Pebble Creek Environmental Corridor. This controversial project was originally mapped as a Bypass around the west side of Waukesha 60 years ago. During this time we have learned much about the important role that ecosystems like the Pebble Creek Environmental Corridor have on our overall environment. This important Waukesha County resource must be protected not damaged or destroyed. Building a 4-Line highway through the middle of this important Environmental Corridor will do permanent damage. The Pebble Creek Watershed Protection plan states it best on page 65, "New road construction and road widening can have significant environmental...impacts on the watershed". The report further states that "...the Advisory Committee expressed significant concerns regarding the possible loss in rural character for the watershed area impacted by the project in terms of added traffic congestion and noise, as well as increased impervious surfaces and possible disturbance to wetlands due to filling".
Another negative impact is the fragmentation of the primary and secondary environmental corridors with all the negative impact that this will cause, including loss of wildlife habitat, increased car/wildlife collisions, stormwater discharge, including road salt into the corridor, introduction of invasive species, light pollution, air pollution, and noise pollution. All these things might be minimized but that cannot be eliminated. When discussing the natural communities in the environmental corridor the Watershed Protection Plan states, "the destruction or deterioration of any one element of the total environment may lead to a chain reaction of deterioration and destruction of the others". The impact of this large highway on surface waters in the area is a huge cause for alarm! Related to this the Watershed Protection Plan states that, "The resulting deterioration of surface water quality may, in turn, lead to a deterioration of the quality of the groundwater". As I'm sure you are aware, Waukesha is currently applying for a Lake Michigan water diversion specifically because of its groundwater problems. The proposed Bypass will only add to the problem. The report says it well when it states that because of potential threats to the Watershed, "The need to protect and preserve the remaining environmental corridors within the Pebble Creek watershed thus becomes apparent".
So how do we find ourselves doing just the opposite?
I believe the traffic needs of the area are not great enough to sacrifice one of Waukesha's most important environmental resources. There are so many environmental problems with this project it is hard to list them all. One of the most glaring is simply the building of a new 4-lane highway through an environmental corridor. For instance, a 2010 Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) publication "Managing the Water's Edge, Making Natural Connections", identifies habitat fragmentation as an important problem and recommends that wider riparian buffers are necessary for many Wisconsin species. For example the optimal core habitat for frogs is 1043 ft. The Bypass will negatively impact the habitat for the wildlife living and moving through the Pebble Creek Environmental Corridor and Watershed, and there are few if any ways to prevent this.
This Bypass is not needed, there is a "No Build, Improve" alternative that has not been adequately evaluated. Our Waukesha County natural resources are too valuable to risk for a 1.5 minute* improvement in commute time!
For these reasons and many others I respectively request that you reject the justification given by Bypass Planners in the EIS for building the West Waukesha Bypass through the Pebble Creek Environmental Corridor!
- "Managing the Waters Edge, Making Natural Connections", Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, May 7, 2010, http://www.sewrpc.org/SEWRPC/Environment.htm
- "Pebble Creek Watershed Protection Plan", Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use and Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Planning Report No. 284, June 2008
- * Commute time improvement from "West Waukesha Bypass Study Preferred Alternative Technical Memo", April 24, 2013