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Bayside Drive Proposed Modification 

Proposed Project 

                Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (the Refuge), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration – Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFLHD), is beginning an environmental assessment process to evaluate the potential impacts from the proposed Bayside Wildlife Drive Project at the Refuge.  Two alternatives are being considered:

Alternative 1 

Under Alternative 1, no modifications would be made to Bayside Wildlife Drive.  Bayside Wildlife Drive would continue to be closed to public vehicles and would be open to hiking, biking, and tram tours. 

Alternative 2 

Alternative 2 would allow vehicular access to the Refuge’s Bayside Wildlife Drive while protecting the endangered ocelot.  This modified route will eliminate traffic in prime ocelot habitat while allowing access to the scenic bayside.  Alternative 2 would include the following components:

  • Move the entrance to an existing road to the south.  The new entrance would be widened to a two-way road.
  • Bayside Wildlife Drive would be modified as a two-way road, with pullouts at select locations to allow oncoming cars to pass.
  • Two grade-separated wildlife crossings with box culverts would be constructed at the north end of the Drive.
  • A sharp turn at the northwest corner of the Drive would be smoothed out to allow access by vehicles up to 30 feet in length.
  • Bayside Wildlife Drive would be closed to public vehicles from Redhead Ridge to the intersection of the new south entrance road.  However, the entire loop would be open for hiking and biking.
  • The existing parking area at Redhead Ridge may be modified to create a turnaround.
  • Vehicles would enter Bayside Wildlife Drive at the southern entrance road, proceed clockwise around the route, turn around at Redhead Ridge, and proceed counterclockwise around the route back to the exit.
  • Bayside Wildlife Drive would be opened to public vehicles following completion of the project.

Public comments are being accepted through May 3, 2014.  They may be emailed to FW2_RW_Laguna@fws.gov or faxed to 956-748-3609 or mailed to Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, 22817 Ocelot Rd, Los Fresnos, TX 78566, or dropped off at the visitor center from 8 – 4 daily.

Last Updated: Apr 20, 2014
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