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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 073-99073-00; San Diego County
PW ID# 779; Bridge Replacement
Citation: FEMA-1731-DR-CA, San Diego County, Pamo Road Bridge, Project Worksheet (PW) 779
Reference: Codes and Standards
Summary: From October 2007 through January 2008, wildfires in San Diego County (Applicant) damaged structures, including the Pamo Road Bridge, a 21-foot wide by 22-foot long timber bridge with reinforced concrete abutments. FEMA prepared PW 779 for an estimated cost of $129,526 to replace the wood superstructure on existing, undamaged concrete abutments. In its first appeal, the Applicant claimed that demolition of the existing structure and replacement with a new 32-foot long bridge should be eligible for assistance, and requested additional funding in the amount of $2,009,282. The Applicant stated that its Drainage Design Manual (DDM) requires that bridges be designed and constructed with hydraulic capacity to allow a 100-year design storm to pass under the bridge with one-foot freeboard, and that the replacement bridge would meet the DDM standards. The Regional Administrator denied the first appeal, stating that the DDM did not meet the requirements to replace the bridge under Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR) §206.226(d), Restoration of damaged facilities, Standards. Specifically, according to the DDM, exceptions to hydraulic design standards may be made “when the Director of Public Works determines that (1) the strict application of the design and procedures to a specific situation may result in unreasonable requirement for a particular project; and (2) an exception to standard drainage criteria would not be detrimental to public health, life, or safety.” Therefore, the standard is not applied uniformly, and the bridge replacement is not eligible for assistance. In the second appeal the Applicant reiterates its position for additional funding for replacement.
Issues: 1) Is the bridge eligible for replacement in accordance with the DDM standards?
2) Do provisions of the standard cited by the Applicant satisfy all five criteria to be eligible as a “Codes and Standards” upgrade?
Findings: 1) No. The bridge repair cost does not exceed 50% of the replacement cost.
2) No. The standard is discretionary.
Rationale: Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act Section 406(e) Eligible Cost; Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR) §206.226(d), Restoration of damaged facilities, Standards; Public Assistance Policy Digest, FEMA 322, page 19