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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 037-99037-00; Los Angeles County
PW ID# 2879; Dam Bypass Repair
March 29, 2010
Mr. Frank McCarton
Governor’s Authorized Representative
Office of the Secretary
California Emergency Management Agency
3650 Schriever Avenue
Mather, CA 95655
Re: Second Appeal – Los Angeles County, PA ID 037-99037-00,
Dam Bypass Repair, FEMA-1577-DR-CA, Project Worksheet (PW) 2879
Dear Mr. McCarton:
This is in response to a letter from your office dated November 22, 2006, which transmitted the referenced second appeal for Los Angeles County (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) decision regarding funding for repairs to a dam bypass road that the winter storms of 2005 destroyed.
Discharge from the spillway of San Gabriel Dam, along with rainfall during the winter storms of January 2005 washed out a heavy equipment bypass road located in the channel downstream of the spillway. The damaged portion of the bypass road consisted of a section of earthen embankment having a crest width of 22 feet, length of 300 feet, height of 16.5 feet, and side slopes of 2H:1V (Horizontal to Vertical). The embankment section contained two 96‑inch diameter reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) culverts, each having a length of approximately 60 feet, both of which were damaged when the embankment failed. In April 2005, FEMA prepared Project Worksheet (PW) 2879 for $407,016 to reconstruct the damaged section of bypass road to its pre-disaster condition. The PW scope of work called for hauling 9,600 cubic yards (CY) of clay fill material, the installation of two RCP culverts of the same diameter and length as those damaged by the event, placement and compaction of the fill material, and application of 123 CY of aggregate surface course. The PW also allowed for basic inspection services at 3 percent plus funds for any necessary permits.
The Applicant submitted its first appeal on March 31, 2006. The Applicant stated that the spillway discharge scoured the bottom of the channel to a depth of 20 feet as revealed by a survey performed by the County in the spring of 2005. Consequently, the quantities for reconstruction of the embankment in the PW scope of work are inadequate and need to be increased from 9,600 CY to 12,093 CY. As a result of the increased embankment height and 2H: 1V side slopes, the length of the culverts needs to be increased from 60 feet to 171 feet. The County intends to substitute three 60-inch diameter culverts at a lesser cost than the two 96-inch diameter culverts provided for in the PW, since the smaller diameter culverts are easier to obtain and install. In addition, the Applicant contended that it was necessary to excavate, replace, compact and regrade 16,156 CY of the streambed in order to prepare a foundation adequate for reconstruction of the embankment fill for the bypass road. The Applicant stated that the contractor’s estimate for repairs was $435,000, to which the Applicant added 7 percent for engineering design, 3 percent for project management, and $25,000 for permits, which yielded a total estimated cost of $503,500 for the project. Consequently, the Applicant requested that FEMA modify the scope of work in the PW and fund an additional $96,484 for the project.
The Acting Regional Administrator denied the Applicant’s appeal in a letter dated August 14, 2006. The Acting Regional Administrator noted that the Applicant never informed FEMA about the condition of the streambed, as well as changes in the streambed elevation, at the time of the site inspection. Therefore, the scope of work provided in PW 2879 was adequate to reinstall the culverts and reconstruct the embankment for the bypass road. The Acting Regional Administrator agreed with the substitution of three 60-inch diameter culverts for the original two 96-inch diameter RCP culverts, particularly since this resulted in an overall cost savings to the project. However, the Applicant failed to submit documentation to support the claims for increases in the length of the culverts, quantities for the embankment fill, as well as quantities of excavation, replacement, compaction, and regrading of the streambed. The Acting Regional Administrator also did not concur with the additional costs requested by the Applicant for engineering design and project management stating that FEMA would approve actual costs at project closeout.
The Applicant submitted its second appeal on September 26, 2006. In the appeal, the Applicant states that the condition of the streambed was not known at the time of FEMA’s site inspection because the area was still inundated. The Applicant essentially restated its rationale for the requested increases in embankment volume, length of culverts, and earthwork performed in the streambed as detailed in the first appeal. The Applicant added a request for 132 CY of bedding material for the culverts along with 52 CY of grouted stone. Included with the appeal were photographs, a reduced set of plans, post disaster survey data, and cost estimates in support of the Applicant’s request. In the second appeal the Applicant is requesting that FEMA fund an additional $101,507 for a total project cost of $508,523.
The plans and photographs support the Applicant’s claim that the disaster caused 20 feet of erosion to the streambed requiring increased quantities of excavation and fill to restore the access road. To account for the erosion and restore the road to its pre-disaster condition, the base of the road needed to be widened by approximately 80 feet. In addition, scouring of the area and the road washout changed the direction of flow along the streambed. Additional excavation and fill is required to restore the flow direction of the stream and provide a suitable base to construct the road. Therefore, the 16,156 CY of excavation and 12,093 CY of fill requested by the Applicant are reasonable to restore the road to its pre-disaster condition. In addition, widening of the road base requires extending the length of the culverts to provide adequate drainage. The length of 171 feet proposed by the Applicant is appropriate. The 132 CY of bedding material and 52 CY of grouted stone for the inlets and outlets of the culverts is also eligible. Additionally, the 7 percent for engineering design, 3 percent for project management, and $25,000 for permits are reasonable estimates for the scope of work.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and determined the additional items of work and the total cost estimate of $508,523 provided by the Applicant is eligible. Accordingly, I am approving the second appeal for $101,507. By copy of this letter, I request that the Regional Administrator take appropriate action to implement this determination.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. My determination constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR §206.206, Appeals.
Elizabeth A. Zimmerman
cc: Nancy Ward
FEMA Region IX