Quick!! REQUEST A PUBLIC HEARING on the Cobblestone Landing project

The cobblestone landing in Memphis has functioned continuously as a free and public landing for 150 years, and it's currently eligible to be a National Historic Landmark. The current plans by the Riverfront Development Corporation involve changes that will end all of this.

The RDC plan has a poor engineering design that fails in its primary purpose: to extend the life and use of the cobblestone landing. The proposal that is on the table will not only end the landing's eligibility as a National Historic Landmark, it will end its use as a landing, period.

The design is far along (95% complete), but it shouldn't move one step forward before hearing from the people it is supposed to serve.


By May 6, send an email to JAMES.M.ELCAN@usace.army.mil
(he is with the Corps of Engineers) to let him know that The Cobblestone Landing is an important place, that it matters what happens to it, and that plans to change it should recognize and extend its purpose... a free and public landing.

If we can stop this, we have a chance to revise the plan to allow the use of the cobblestones as a landing for another 150 years.

Click below for a sample e-mail and to see the public notice.

Sample email below. Amend to reflect your view. Please note: you must include the public notice number [Public Notice No.: MVM-2009-093(jme)], your name and address, and an indication that your email is to be considered equal to your signature.
REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING [Public Notice No.: MVM-2009-093(jme)]

ATTN: Mitch Elcan, US Army Corps of Engineers, 167 N. Main Street, Room B-202, Memphis, TN 38103-1894

The Cobblestone Landing at Memphis, Tennessee is important.

For 150 years, it has been in continuous use as a free and public boat landing and it is eligible to be a National Historic Landmark.
Maintenance and changes to the landing should insure its continued use as a free and public landing and ensure its future as a National Historic Landmark.
Maintenance and changes to the landing should improve water quality. A FULL environmental impact statement is requested.

NAME: __________________________________________________

ADDRESS: ____________________________________________


SIGNATURE :_____________________________________
Please accept this e-mail as equal to my signature.

Public Notice Corps of Engineers

REPLY TO ATTN: Mitch Elcan
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 167 North Main Street, Room B-202 Memphis, Tennessee 38103-1894 Telephone: (901) 544-0737 Fax (901) 544-0211 EMail:James.M.Elcan@usace.army.mil

PUBLIC NOTICE NO: MVM-2009-093(jme)

AUTHORITY: Pursuant to 33 CFR 325, as published in the Federal Register dated November 13, 1986, this notice announces an application submitted for aDepartment of the Army permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.

APPLICANT: Mr. John Conroy AGENT: Mr. Robert Kurtz
Riverfront Development Corporation Tetra Tech, Inc.
22 North Front Street, Suite 960
65 Union Avenue, Suite 300
Memphis, Tennessee 38103 Memphis, Tennessee 38103
(901) 312-9190 (901) 523-9500

LOCATION: The project is located on the east side of Wolf River Harbor, west of Riverside Drive, north of Beal Street Landing and south of Jefferson Davis Park in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee at approximate latitude 35.14472° and longitude -90.05639° on the USGS Northwest Memphis, Tennessee
7.5 minute quadrangle map.

PURPOSE: The purpose of the project is to restore the historic Memphis Cobblestone Landing, providing for long term preservation, improved public access and to add interpretive enhancement.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK: The applicant proposes to protect and improve the Memphis Cobblestone Landing by stabilizing the bank at the base of the cobblestones, repairing the cobblestone field, adding walkways and staircases to enhance public access and removing above ground utilities. Bank stabilization is needed to protect the cobblestones from future damage caused by wave action and dredging in the Wolf River Harbor, which has led to slippage of the cobblestones into the harbor.
Repairs will be accomplished by removing extraneous concrete and asphalt that has been placed over cobblestones; removing silt; filling in large depressions and eroded areas in the cobblestone field; adding runoff and erosion control features; and repairing and restoring cultural features such as mooring rings and the river gage.
Pedestrian access will be improved by adding stairs and walkways that extend from the top of the cobblestone field to its bottom and along the western edge. The walkway along the western edge will provide an accessible path from Jefferson Davis Park on the north all the way to the new Beal Street Landing. Additionally, above ground utilities will be removed and replaced with underground systems and interpretive signage will be added to educate the public to the historical significance of the area.
To accomplish this, approximately 14,800 cubic yards of sand and silt material will be hydrology dredged from below ordinary high water along the length of the project (approximately 2,200 linear feet). This material will be discharged via a floating pipe downstream of the Wolf River Harbor into the Mississippi River. Approximately 8,650 cubic yards of clean earthen fill will then be placed to stabilize the slope. The proposed north-south walk to be constructed along the western edge of the Memphis Cobblestone Landing will be astructural concrete slab with supporting foundation. To stabilize the edge of the cobblestone field, the foundation wall will be installed along the top of the bank and extend down to geo-technically stable soil. This sidewalk will frame the cobblestones to the east and prevent the soil from degrading, stopping the cobbles from being carried into the Wolf River Harbor. To the west of the foundation wall and walk section, riprap will be notched into the bank's 3:1 slope to protect the bank from washout associated with continued riverboat operations and erosion. The overall quantity of riprap being placed is approximately 7,700 cubic yards.

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: The applicant should contact the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Water Pollution Control (TDEC) at (615) 532-0713 or TDEC, 7th Floor L. & C. Annex Building, 401 Church Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1534 and request water quality certification. This certification or evidence of this water quality certification or waiver of the right to certify must be submitted prior to issuance of a Corps of Engineers permit. The Department will consider all relative comments in the decision to grant or deny water quality certification for the proposed activity. The Corps of Engineers' evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will include application of the guidelines promUlgated by the Administrator, EPA, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: No endangered or threatened species, or their critical habitat, are known to exist in the project area. This application is being coordinated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Any comments they may have regarding endangered or threatened wildlife or plants, or their critical habitat, will be considered in our evaluation of the described work.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Memphis District will evaluate information provided by the State Historic Preservation Office, Federally-recognized Tribes, and the public in response to this public notice and we may conduct, or require a survey of the project area. A preliminary in-house records search indicated that the cobble-stone landing is part of the Cotton Row Historic District.

FLOOD PLAIN: In accordance with 44 CFR Part 60 (Flood Plain Management and Use), participating communities are required to review all proposed development to determine if a flood plain development permit is required. Flood plain administrators should review the proposed public notice and apprise this office of any flood plain development permit requirements.

PUBLIC INTEREST REVIEW: The purpose of this public notice is to advise all interested parties of the activities for which a permit is sought and to solicit comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impact on the public interest.
The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concem for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the project must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the project will be considered, including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people.
The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the pUblic; Federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Federally-recognized Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for a public hearing shall state, with particularity, the reason for holding a public hearing. The District Engineer will determine if the issues raised are substantial and whether a hearing is needed for making a decision.

COMMENTS OR REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: If you wish to obtain additional information or to submit comments on the application, please contact Mitch Elcan at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 167 North Main Street, Room B-202, Memphis, Tennessee 38103-1894, telephone (901) 544-0737. Copies of all comments, including the names and address of commenters, may be provided to the applicant for consideration and response prior to a decision by the Corps.
Comments should be received by May 6, 2009.

Larry D. Watson
Chief Regulatory Branch