Wednesday, November 25, 2009

‘Off-base projects not likely to damage soils’

‘Off-base projects not likely to damage soils’

Wednesday, 25 November 2009 01:39
by Jude Lizama | Variety News Staff

OFF-base roadway improvement projects related to the military buildup have possible but less than significant effects on the alteration or disturbance of the island’s topography and soils, according to the draft environmental impact study.

If conducted, road construction activities would most likely consist of new road construction, intersection improvements, road widening, bridge replacements, road relocation and pavement strengthening.

A particular project that could potentially deal with the realignment of Route 15 for the purpose of creating adequate military firing ranges would result in the construction of new asphalt pavement for realignment, creation of an unpaved median to provide for future road widening, bicycle accommodations on the road shoulders, connection to existing roadways and access roads, pavement striping, signing, installation of property fences and guardrails and construction of a new bridge.

Related projects would require more significant effects on soil and topography include possible building removal, utility relocation and realignment into previously undisturbed soils to accommodate roadway design.

While potential impacts to soils and geological resources such as cut and fill operations may occur, the study also cited possible indirect impacts can result after project completion to include increased erosion, geologic hazards, or leaching of contaminants into soils.

While areas of high liquefaction potential and those near karst geological formations closest to sinkholes or caves have been identified by the study as regions that pose heightened vulnerability of geological resource disturbance, they were heavily identified and considered within the EIS.

Additionally, the study indicates that “the potential vulnerability to effects from seismic activity is consistent throughout the island because of the presence of known and inferred earthquake faults that transect Guam.”

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