Straughan completed natural and cultural resource compliance activities in support of Baltimore City Department of Transportation’s project to replace the Warren Road Bridge that carries Warren Road over the Loch Raven Reservoir. The project will replace a historic Parker Truss bridge, which is determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The project must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (36 CFR Part 800) and will require a Section 404 permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers in order to construct new bridge piers within the reservoir. The project’s location within the wooded lands surrounding the reservoir necessitated compliance with Maryland’s Forest Conservation Act and preparation of forest conservation plans.
Straughan’s archaeologists and architectural historian completed cultural resource studies. These included Phase I terrestrial and underwater archaeological investigations, which resulted in the identification of an archaeological site in the vicinity of the foundation of the former Warren Methodist Episcopal Church. A historic structures assessment of the 100-year old bridge considered multiple rehabilitation and replacement alternatives for their ability to meet the project purpose and need and avoid adverse effects to the bridge. The current preferred alternative provides a new bridge on a new alignment that reduces dangerous curves that limit sight distance along the bridge approaches. It also allows the historic bridge to remain in place.
Future activities will include Phase II archeological evaluation of the archaeological site identified during the Phase I investigations, project effects determinations and preparation of a Forest Conservation Plan to address impacts to forest resources.