Yaquina Head Traffic Study

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Introduction

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has initiated a study, in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to evaluate the transportation system at the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (ONA).

The Yaquina Head ONA was established by Congress to provide for the conservation and development of the scenic, natural, and historic values of the area; the continued use of the area for education, scientific study, and public recreation; and protection of the wildlife habitat of the area.

Increasing visitation to the Yaquina Head ONA has resulted in growing traffic congestion and risk of user conflicts. The Yaquina Head Traffic Study will identify and address site needs including operations at the entrance station, overall site circulation, multimodal (bicycle and pedestrian) accommodations and safety enhancements, parking management, pavement preservation, and congestion mitigation. When identifying potential improvements, the study will consider public and stakeholder comments, environmental constraints, constructability challenges, and financial feasibility. The intent of the study is to provide an efficient transition from transportation analysis to future project development and environmental review, if any, based on identified need and funding availability. This is an initial study to help inform a future design or construction project. The study will be a collaborative process with FHWA, BLM, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the City of Newport, stakeholders, and the public to identify needs and potential solutions.

Study Area

Yaquina Head ONA is a 100-acre protected area managed by the BLM and officially designated by the United States as an Outstanding Natural Area due to its scenic quality, and cultural and natural resources. The site is accessible via Lighthouse Drive which begins at the intersection with the Oregon Coast Highway (US Highway 101) at Mile Post 137.61. The Yaquina Head ONA boundary begins about 0.2 mile west of the intersection. Within the site, the transportation system is comprised of 1.21 miles of asphalt paved roads and four parking lots which provide access to various recreation opportunities in and around the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

Public Engagement

The development of this study includes a public involvement process to encourage meaningful participation. Multiple public outreach activities will be held over the course of this study. These activities will be devoted to defining relevant issues, understanding needs, and presenting preliminary findings from analysis of the existing transportation system and the social/economic context of the area. A 30-day public review period will be held following release of the draft study. Check local news sources and this website periodically for information relating to the time, format, and location of future public events and opportunities for feedback.

Public Outreach #1 – August 13th to September 10th, 2021

An initial public outreach effort is being conducted to explain the study process and gather information from the public and stakeholders to identify issues and concerns relating to the site. A brief video explaining the study process is posted below. The study newsletter [link to document] also contains an overview of the study and public comment opportunities.

Yaquina Head Traffic Study Survey

This survey is an opportunity to share your concerns and ideas regarding transportation at Yaquina Head and will help the study team identify areas of focus. Please respond to the survey by September 10, 2021.

Please click below to take the survey:

English

Spanish

Schedule

The Yaquina Head Traffic Study kicked off in April 2021. The study is currently anticipated for completion by June 2022.

Documents

Study Contacts

Comments can be submitted at any time to any of the study contacts. To subscribe to the study mailing list, please contact Sarah Nicolai (snicolai@rpa-hln.com).

Carrie Warren, PE

FHWA Project Manager

610 East Fifth Street

Vancouver, WA 98661

(303) 478-0249

carrie.warren@dot.gov

Matt Betenson

Yaquina Head Site Manager – BLM

750 NW Lighthouse Drive

Newport, OR 97365

(541) 574-3142

blm_or_no_yhona_comments@blm.gov

Sarah Nicolai, PE, PTP

Consultant Project Manager

3147 Saddle Drive

Helena, MT 59601

(406) 447-5038

snicolai@rpa-hln.com