OTR Presentation for Fremont County Public Hearing

Over The River
Project for the Arkansas River
State of Colorado
Application to Fremont County for a
Temporary Use Permit
The artists plan to suspend 5.9 miles of silvery,
luminous fabric panels high above
the Arkansas River
© Christo 2009; Photo: Andre Grossman
Translucent fabric panels will emphasize the
configuration of the river as it meanders,
winds and bends
© Christo 1999; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Two-week exhibition period proposed for
August of 2014
© Christo, 2008; Photo by Andre Grossman
42 miles of river
between Salida and Cañon City
Phases of Over The River
Permitting Process
• EIS phase complete and BLM permit secured
• Division of Parks & Wildlife and State Land
Board approvals secured
• County permitting process currently underway
• Currently securing permit from CDOT
• Event Management Planning underway
• In phases over two years, beginning in July
2012, assuming all permits and agreements
are obtained.
• Planned for two consecutive weeks in August
• Approx. three months
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
OTR Corp.’s Responses to County Staff Report of
Jan. 24, 2012 & Proposed Permit Conditions
OTR Corp.’s complete response in letter
of Jan. 30, 2012
Most proposed conditions are
reasonable and acceptable
Some proposed conditions duplicate or
conflict with BLM/State permit
conditions, creating confusion or dual
Some proposed conditions are already
under another agency’s jurisdiction to
OTR Corp.’s letter suggests alternative
conditions to address issues
© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Economic Benefits
According to the BLM’s
analysis, Over The River will:
• Attract 416,000 visitors and
generate over $121 million in
total economic output. ROD at 2.
• Generate over $1.5 million in
statewide tax revenue. FEIS at 4-145.
© Christo 2006; Photo: Andre Grossman
• Create $25.7 million in personal
income. FEIS at 4-145.
Local Benefits
BLM’s analysis projects the following local benefits:
• “Total economic output due to visitor spending during the exhibition is estimated
to be about $50 million, including $22.2 million in Fremont and Chaffee
counties.” FEIS at 4-137
• “Approximately 75% of total spending on materials and supplies would occur
within Colorado, including about $1.5 million of materials that would be
purchased within Chaffee and Fremont counties.” FEIS at 4-125.
• Over 620 temporary jobs will be created, and the majority of these hires will
be local residents. Wages paid to employees will exceed $6.5 million. FEIS at 4-145.
• The total economic output within Fremont, Chaffee, Pueblo and El Paso
counties during installation and removal would amount to about $25.8 million.
FEIS at 4-126.
• The rafting industry is expected to see an increase of more than $3.4 million in
revenue during the life of the project, as well as an additional $863,000
increase in employee earnings. FEIS at 4-145.
Additional Benefits of OTR Project
• Stored UP railcars have
been removed from the
© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
• New habitat for bighorn
sheep is being provided
through habitat treatment
work currently in progress.
Mitigation may increase the
population of bighorn sheep
in the Arkansas Valley.
Key Findings from the BLM’s Analysis
“Overall, impacts to local businesses and
commercial traffic as a result of traffic delays
during installation and removal would be
negligible to minor and short term” FEIS at 4-132.
The Final EIS identifies no “Significant
Impacts” to any terrestrial, avian or aquatic
wildlife as a result of Over The River when
the identified mitigation measures are
implemented. FEIS at S-15 - S-16.
© Christo 2010; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
“Overall, the quality of life for most residents would be unaffected by
installation and removal activities. The influx of additional visitor spending
and temporary increase in the incomes of local residents would be a
benefit to the area.” FEIS at 4-134.
Comprehensive Mitigation
• OTR’s permit application
incorporates the more than 100
mitigation measures already
identified in the EIS. These
measures avoid or minimize the
potential impacts.
• Fremont and Chaffee Counties
worked closely with the BLM as
cooperating agencies to develop
this comprehensive set of
solutions for Over The River.
© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Installation Facts
• While the anchor installation phase is
about two years, the impact on any one
location is brief. In the Final EIS, BLM
explains: “At a specific panel location . . .
the noise and activity associated with
drilling would remain within 0.25 mile
during a 5-day period and then move
beyond that distance, resulting in a
diminishment of noise and other
disturbances at any one location….”
FEIS at 4-7.
• Noise from drilling would be comparable
to existing truck and traffic noise on
Highway 50. FEIS at 4-327.
© Christo, 2006; Photo by Andre Grossman
Safety Measures Included in the FEIS
• Approximately 21 law enforcement
personnel will “be stationed
throughout the greater project area
... to ensure no-stopping
restrictions are observed, to
maintain orderly traffic flow, [and]
to ensure rapid incident response.”
FEIS at 4-201.
© Christo, 2007; Photo by Andre Grossman
• Higher than normal levels of traffic
and driver distractions “[will] be
offset to some degree by slower
travel speeds throughout the
corridor (lower average accident
severity) and a high level of
monitoring and law enforcement
presence.” FEIS at 4-230.
Safety Measures Included in the FEIS
• Approximately 100 to 150 monitors
[will] be stationed throughout the
corridor … to maintain surveillance”
and provide communication “in the
event of an emergency.” FEIS at 4-202.
• “Local fire departments will
be provided with supplementary
communications equipment, if necessary.
To ensure that a small fire would be controlled quickly, smaller
caches of handheld firefighting equipment would be located at the
Vallie Bridge Limited Rest Stop. All work crews would be trained in
quick response wildfire suppression techniques as well.” FEIS at 4-202.
Safety Measures
• Medical concerns will be addressed
every day from sunrise to sunset
during the week of fabric blossoming,
the two week exhibition, and the first
week of the removal phase. FEIS at 4-202.
• A medical helicopter will be staged at
the Texas Creek Staging Area. FEIS at 4-202.
• An ambulance with paramedics will be
staged at Texas Creek and Parkdale Recreation sites.
FEIS at 4-202.
• First aid stations staffed by trained paramedics will be located at
each of the limited rest stops and information centers in the
corridor. FEIS at 4-202.
Management of Traffic – OTR Priorities
Public Safety is of prime
© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Prevent diversion to local roads through
Adaptive Traffic Management.
Provide for safe passage of emergency
Minimize delays to the traveling public.
Use methods that have worked –
techniques currently used by CDOT on
US 50 maintenance.
Ensure public is fully informed through
an aggressive public information
Management of Traffic – Construction Phase
Done under CDOT Special Use permit
Uses temporary 400-foot work zone
lane closure
Similar to traffic control used for routine
CDOT maintenance activities
Expected cumulative delay 10 minutes
or less corridor-wide
Westbound lane (riverside lane) only
during daylight hours
No closures allowed from Memorial
Day to Labor Day
NEVER close both lanes in any location at
the same time
© Christo 2009; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
• As shown, state-of-the-art
equipment to be used for
installation on the highway
side of the river requires
only a single lane of US 50.
• All temporary lane closures
will comply with CDOT
Management of Traffic – Construction Phase
Lane closure schedule
Two temporary work zones corridor wide for only 27 days.
• 10-mile spacing of temporary lane closures.
• Will create gaps for left
turns off of US 50.
• Average traffic delay will
be 3-5 minutes per work
• No diversion to County
© Christo 2007; Photo: André Grossmann
Management of Traffic – Construction Phase
Lane Shift with Continued Two-Way Traffic
• Shifts westbound lane while maintaining two-way traffic
• Allows two full lanes open to traffic
• Use in 3 lane sections
and areas with wide
• Occurs only during
allowable time periods
© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Management of Traffic – Exhibition Phase
• No pedestrian travel along US 50 within 0.5 miles of panel
areas and/or other areas as deemed necessary by BLM and
State Parks Staff.
• All pullouts on US 50
and County Road 45
within 0.5 miles of any
fabric panel section
will be closed.
• CDOT will not divert
traffic to County roads.
© Christo 2010; Photo: André Grossmann
Management of Traffic – Exhibition Phase
© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Bicycle travel along US 50
prohibited on Fridays, Saturdays
and Sundays.
No organized bicycle events would
be allowed on US 50 during the
Overweight, oversize and
hazardous cargo trucks will be
restricted from the site during the
exhibition period (by CDOT permit)
and banned from County roads.
Temporary speed reductions of 10
mph will be posted near all fabric
panel areas.
Management of Traffic – Exhibition Phase
• Vehicles will not be
allowed to stop within
0.5 miles of a fabric
panel section.
• Install and enforce
temporary traffic signs
on all County roads
intersecting US 50 (mile
posts 226 and 269) to
restrict these roads to
local traffic only.
© Christo 2008; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Travel Demand Management (TDM) Plan
Goal of reducing peak period travel delays and enhancing
visitor experience during exhibition phase
TDM Plan will include measures
to shift anticipated peak period
visitation to off-peak periods
- Increase carpooling
- Use of vans, shuttles and
Includes targeted messages
- Traditional media (television,
radio, newspapers)
- Social media (YouTube,
Facebook, Twitter and newer
tools that emerge by 2014)
© Christo 2006; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
BLM’s Analysis of Wildlife
• The mitigation plan will have
long-term benefits for the local
bighorn sheep population by
providing a wildlife corridor
previously identified by the
Colorado Division of Wildlife as a
habitat enhancement. ROD at 28.
• Implementation of the bighorn
sheep mitigation measures “will
ensure that bighorn sheep of the
Arkansas River canyon do not
experience unacceptable
impacts as a result of the
project.” Mike King, Executive
Director of the Colorado
Department of Natural
© Christo, 2010; Photo by Andre Grossman
Bighorn Sheep Mitigation
• OTR, in coordination with Colorado
Parks & Wildlife, has begun
implementing a bighorn sheep habitat
treatment project at a site chosen by
Colorado Division of Wildlife.
• “A bighorn sheep adaptive management
program, funded by the Artist, will allow
Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the
BLM to implement future wildlife
mitigation identified during the project.”
BLM news release: July 28, 2011.
• “Sensitive bighorn sheep lambing areas
have been identified and will be avoided
during lambing periods.” FEIS at 4-7.
86% of the river and natural landscape within the 42-mile project area will be untouched
by Over The River.
The Final EIS states that “at least 40% of the light would pass through the fabric, the
extent of shading would be considered a negligible to moderate level.” FEIS at 4-33.
Additionally, “shade is an important habitat parameter for trout. Increased shade levels in
the panel sections of the river for a short-term period would not adversely affect the
ecological or physiological functions of trout species.” FEIS at 4-33.
Seasonal restrictions on construction activities will reduce impacts to angling.
FEIS 4-261.
Construction is temporary in any one spot;
the impact on any one location is brief.
Placement of fabric panels has been
avoided in locations highly utilized by
All AHRA and developed recreation sites
would remain open throughout the project
for recreational access.
Removal and Restoration
• All visible elements of the project
will be removed and the surfacelevel holes will be refilled with
BLM-approved, weed-free top
• The ground will be restored to its
original contours, and any areas
requiring re-vegetation will be
seeded with a native plant mix.
© Christo 2008; Photo: Andre Grossman
• There will be no lasting
environmental impacts after the
project is complete.
A Growing List of Supporters
Many organizations have already pledged their support of Over The River. Below is a partial list
of the individuals and organizations that have submitted statements of support to date.
• Action 22
Fremont Center for the Arts
• Arkansas River Outfitters Association
Fremont Community Foundation
• Art Works For the Heart of the Rockies
Fremont County Tourism Council
• Mike Bandera, President of Royal Gorge Bridge
& Park
Governor John Hickenlooper
Dr. Robin Gooldy, Superintendent of Cañon City
• City Council of Cañon City
Colorado State Senator Kevin Grantham
• Cañon City Chamber of Commerce and Doug
Mike King, Director of Colorado Department of
Natural Resources
• Chaffee County Visitors Bureau
U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn
• Colorado Council on the Arts
The Mountain Mail
• Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors
Andy Neinas, President of Echo Canyon River
• Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
George Turner, Former Executive Director of the
Cañon City Chamber
The Pueblo Chieftain
U.S. Senator Mark Udall
Visit Denver – Denver Convention & Visitors Bureau
Western Colorado Center for the Arts
Whitewater Adventure Outfitters
• U.S. Senator Michael Bennet
• Colorado Springs Gazette
• Denver Art Museum
• Maggie Divelbiss and the Sangre de Cristo Arts
Center Board of Trustees
• Bill Dvorak, President of Dvorak Expeditions
Letters of Support
“The notoriety and free positive publicity that
Over the River will bring to our area could not
be purchased by even the most ambitious
advertising budgets of all regional tourism
industry concerns combined. … In short, it is
difficult to imagine a project that could be
more advantageous to our community.”
Cañon City Council
© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
“I would like to again establish our commitment for the Project and our
enthusiasm for the tourism opportunities that this Project will bring . . .
The impact as far as recognition for Cañon City, Fremont County, and
the Royal Gorge area would be of a value that could never be equaled
in a financial ‘return on investment.’” Doug Shane, Executive Director,
Cañon City Chamber of Commerce
Letters of Support
“Our support is based not only on the
significant economic boost that this project will
provide to our region, but also on the
outstanding reputation of the artists. … I have
listened to (Christo) share his vision for the
project and am convinced that he and JeanneClaude will create a work of art that will be
beautiful and compelling not only to our visitors
but to our local residents as well. I am
confident that the artists and their expert team
are reviewing and accommodating every
reasonable environmental and economic
concern.” Colorado Springs Convention and
Visitors Bureau
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
“The project promises to bring attention from
around the world to the Fremont County area,
and will provide an enormous positive cultural
and economic impact to the area and to the
entire region.” Fremont Center for the Arts
Letters of Support
“(Over The River) will not only bring ‘stimulation
to our economy’ but will also create ‘top of mind
awareness’ for years to come, not only
regionally but nationally as well as
internationally.” Fremont County Tourism
“(Over The River) has been a wonderful
addition to what we offer our students. The
artists have made their time and talents
available to some of our schools. … Seeing the
finished project on display to the world will be a
great day for all of us, and something for our
part of the world to be proud of.” Robin Gooldy,
Superintendent, Canon City Schools
© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Letters of Support
© Christo 2007; Photo: Wolfgang Volz
“I am enthusiastically in favor of Over
The River, as I think it will bring
significant economic benefit to the
entire region. As a former Cañon City
Councilman, I have also been
impressed with the artists’ willingness
to work with our community to resolve
issues and concerns. At the end of the
day, I think it’s going to be a very
positive project for not only the
Arkansas River region but for all of
Colorado.” Kevin Grantham, Colorado
State Senator, District Two
Letters of Support
“Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s world
famous art has the potential to draw
hundreds of thousands of visitors to
southern Colorado and enhance our
state’s growing cultural prominence.
This project will draw attention to the
natural beauty of the Arkansas River
and its surrounding communities. … I
look forward to being of assistance in
this project and consider it a privilege
to have the chance to host Christo
and Jeanne-Claude in my District.”
Congressman Doug Lamborn, U.S.
Representative from Colorado’s 5th
Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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