More than 1,000 people share their thoughts on Confluence Parkway plan

Through surveys, open houses, and trail walks, more than 1,000 people weighed in on potential impacts of the Confluence Parkway plan proposed by the City of Wenatchee. Chelan PUD commissioners reviewed a summary of the feedback on Monday. Reported moderate to strong knowledge of the plan. Confluence Parkway is a proposed, 2.5-mile road and bridge across the Wenatchee River designed to alleviate congestion on North Wenatchee Avenue. The parkway runs along the edge of Horan Natural Area and Confluence State Park, which are owned by the PUD.

The survey offered images that showed specific design elements of proposed changes to the Apple Capital Loop Trail. The questions were open-ended, but through sentiment analysis, PUD staff offered commissioners a summary of the responses as generally positive, neutral, or negative.

A video simulation of the proposed changes can be viewed at chelanpud.org/confluence. More images are available at the City of Wenatchee website wenatcheewa.gov, under the “get involved” tab.

As for next steps, the commissioners directed staff to initiate a more detailed investigation of noise impacts and continue conversations with the City of Wenatchee about mitigation.

The city is planning to finish the environmental assessment this year. Then, the City will ask the PUD to provide a letter of concurrence that the project will have minimal impact to nearby properties after the proposed mitigations are met.

Also, following the completion of the project’s environmental assessment, the PUD will need to decide whether or not to apply for an amendment to its license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to incorporate changes to Confluence State Park and the Horan Natural Area.

In other news, commissioners:

Reviewed plans to conduct a customer satisfaction survey later this spring. Customers may get a phone call or email later this spring from Strategies 360, a vendor working on behalf of Chelan PUD.

Heard a quarterly update from Fish and Wildlife that included a sub yearling salmon study planned in 2022, and a proposal to partner with Chelan Douglas Land trust to rehabilitate and expand trails in Home Water Preserve, a wildlife refuge owned by Chelan PUD in the Wenatchee foothills.

Was briefed on an extension of the deadline for developers to submit plans to redevelop the Fifth Street campus. The proposals are now due by May 16.

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