Forest Lake Association president, Janene Gorham, has been in communication with Bruce A. Van Note, MTA Director of Policy and Planning, regarding FLA community concerns with the emergency vehicle access ramps currently under construction.
Per Mr. Van Note’s email correspondence of January 31, 2018, the MTA’s goal is to always communicate so as to reduce concerns as much as possible. To this end, he has been communicating with a few concerned people directly.
As noted in his email to our FLA President, “There is inevitably some noise and dust during construction, but that is temporary, and we chose winter to minimize those impacts when people are less likely to be out and about. When the Dutton Hill bridge is closed from June to November, there will be some additional traffic on Forest Lake Road, but traffic levels are relatively low on Dutton Hill (1,100 per day), so it should not be a huge change…
…the Forest Lake ramp location was chosen to achieve multiple goals: to minimize impacts on landowners (no eminent domain required), impacts to the environment including wetlands, streams, and Forest Lake, minimize the length of Forest Lake road that would be used by our plows during snowstorms, minimize the length of the ramp (which reduces impervious surface), and to function safely from an operational perspective. The topography is such that it should have minimal water quality impacts to the lake. The ramp will be gated, and fencing will minimize wildlife impacts. Further, the augmented informational material will also include a plow route map that should alleviate concerns regarding long-term truck use. Such use will not be substantial. Again, the ramp is designed for winter snow fighting, meaning plow trucks will be using it during snow storms when most people are inside. And that relatively low number of trucks will be north of the ramp. There should be virtually no additional truck traffic south of the ramp from this project.”
Mr. Van Note further suggests an on-site meeting with concerned residents after the ramp is roughed in and more fully developed so people can actually see it. Although tree cutting and grubbing always starts abruptly and change can be unsettling, he believes the longer-term impacts may be less than some people are visualizing. At that meeting, we can then discuss with MTA if fencing or plantings can help minimize visual impacts.
Residents are encouraged to contact Bruce Van Note [email@example.com] with any questions or concerns