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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 139-U05AE; Marrowbone Township Road District
PW ID# 862; Austin Bridge
September 29, 2003
Mr. David L. Smith
Disaster Assistance and Preparedness
Illinois Emergency Management Agency
110 East Adams Street
Springfield, Illinois 62701-1109
Re: Second Appeal Marrowbone Township Road District, PA ID 139-U05AE, Austin Bridge, FEMA-1416-DR-IL, Project Worksheet (PW) 862
Dear Mr. Smith:
This is in response to your letter dated June 10, 2003, that transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Marrowbone Township Road District (MTRD). MTRD is requesting reconsideration of the Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMAs) decision to deny replacement of the Austin Bridge at an estimated cost of $647,567.
Heavy rains in April and May of 2002 caused flooding along the Marrowbone Creek resulting in damage to the Austin Bridge, which is owned by the Marrowbone Township Road District (MTRD). The bridge is located in a wildlife refuge management area operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Minimal traffic drives over the bridge on a routine basis. FEMA originally determined to replace the bridge at an estimated cost of $83,853. However, after reviewing the bridge inspection report issued one year prior to the flood, FEMA determined not to replace the bridge because the bridge inspection report indicated that the structure was in poor condition before the flood and that this event did not cause substantial damage to the bridge. In lieu of replacing the bridge, FEMA prepared PW 862-0 for $4,146 to repair the bridge on September 18, 2002.
MTRD submitted a first appeal on January 9, 2003, requesting replacement of the bridge at an estimated cost of $647,567. Included in the estimate were costs to elevate the bridge because the original structure is known to periodically flood. FEMA Region V assigned a Technical Assistance Contractor (TAC) to re-inspect the bridge and to produce a PW. Based on the TACs inspection and review, the FEMA Region V Regional Director denied the appeal to replace the bridge because the revised repair estimate from the TAC was less than 50 percent of FEMAs initial replacement estimate of $83,853 and MTRDs replacement estimate of $219,629. Instead, FEMA prepared PW 862-1 on April 17, 2003, for $33,884 to repair the bridge and PW 862-2 on April 22, 2003, for $25,967 for mitigation measures.
MTRD submitted its second appeal on June 9, 2003, requesting reconsideration of FEMAs determination to repair rather than replace the Austin Bridge. MTRD requested that the bridge be replace for an estimated cost of $647,567. To support its claim, MTRD submitted a repair estimate of $72,200 from its consulting engineer and claimed that it met the fifty percent rule when comparing this estimate with FEMAs original replacement estimate of $83,853.
In determining whether to repair or replace a facility, the repair cost is limited to the cost to repair damaged components only. It does not include codes and standards upgrades, demolition, site work, or applicable project management costs. The replacement cost equals the cost of reconstructing the facility and includes upgrades based on current codes and standards. As such, the cost to repair the Austin Bridge for $33,885 does not justify replacing the bridge, as it is less than 50 percent of the applicants replacement estimate of $219,629 (15.4%) and the Illinois Department of Transportations replacement estimate of $647,567 (5.2%). Thus, the appeal is denied.
Please inform MTRD of my decision. My determination constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR §206.206.
Laurence W. Zensinger
Acting Director, Recovery Division
Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate
Department of Homeland Security
cc: Edward G. Buikema
FEMA, Region V