Published June 8, 2017
Expiration date: 7/8/2017

The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:

Shirley Contracting Company, LLC
ATTN:  Mr. Chuck Smith
8435 Backlick Road
Lorton, VA  22079

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is located in Accokeek Creek and Lower Aquia Creek, tributaries to the Potomac River, in Stafford County, Virginia. 

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The applicant proposes to relocate the Interstate 95/Route 630 Interchange approximately 800 feet south of the existing interchange and construct the new interchange using a diverging diamond design. The proposed interchange will include two new parallel bridges that will carry Rt. 630 (Courthouse Road) over I-95. Rt. 630 will be realigned to intersect with Rt. 1 at Hospital Center Boulevard adjacent to the existing Stafford Hospital.  West of the proposed interchange, the intersection of Route 630 and Austin Ridge Drive will be realigned approximately 500 feet further west. The existing commuter park and ride lot on the west side of I-95 near Austin Ridge Drive will be relocated to the east side of I-95 along existing Route 630 (Courthouse Road) and expanded by an additional 300 parking spaces with bus access and shelters. A second new lot with a capacity of 255 parking spaces will be added in the southeast quadrant of the interchange, ultimately providing a total of 1100 commuter spaces. The northbound on-ramp to I-95 includes the construction of a bridge over existing Route 630 adjacent to the relocated Commuter Park & Ride parking lot. The project includes bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

The applicant’s stated purpose is to provide capacity, operational, and safety improvements, with improved level of service and connectivity to local roadways, including the existing Stafford Hospital, fire and rescue facilities, a local government complex, and commercial and industrial properties. The bridge over Rt. 630 adjacent to the relocated park and ride lot is being constructed in order to not preclude the proposed future Fredericksburg Extension of the HOT Lanes on I-95 and to provide ease of access to existing utilities. 

The following impacts to waters of the US are proposed:  0.74 acres permanent and 0.11 acres temporary to Palustrine Forested (PFO) Wetlands; 2,563 linear feet permanent and 416 linear feet temporary to perennial streams; and 365 linear feet permanent and 312 linear feet temporary to intermittent streams.  

The applicant indicates that avoidance and minimization efforts for the proposed project have included evaluating several alternative interchange designs and choosing the practicable option they determined has the least impacts to aquatic resources, as well as using curb and gutter to accommodate roadside drainage, which reduces the roadway footprint.  The applicant proposes the purchase of credits from mitigation banks to compensate for all stream and wetland impacts.  Proposed mitigation is based on a 2:1 ratio for the PFO impacts and on the Unified Stream Methodology for stream impacts. 

In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain a Virginia Water Protection Permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated.  Selected project drawings are attached. 

AUTHORITY: Permits are required pursuant to Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. 

FEDERAL EVALUATION OF APPLICATION:  The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest.  The decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources.  The benefits which reasonably may be expected from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All of the proposal's relevant factors will be considered, including conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use classification, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.  The Environmental Protection Agency's "Guidelines for Specification of Disposal Sites for Dredged or Fill Material" will also be applied (Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act).   

The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of this proposed activity.  Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal.  To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above.  Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.  Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.  Anyone may request a public hearing to consider this permit application by writing to the District Commander within 30 days of the date of this notice, stating specific reasons for holding the public hearing.  The District Commander will then decide if a hearing should be held. 

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead federal agency. FHWA prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project in association with another I-95 Interchange (at Route 627) and issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in 1999.  FHWA complete a Re-Evaluation of the EA in 2015, and re-confirmed the FONSI. 

Preliminary review indicates that: (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) the applicant submitted documentation into the FWS ESA Online Project Review System on May 12, 2017. Listed species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884, as amended) were identified for the project location. The applicant has proposed the following effect determinations and the reasons for the determinations in the Species Conclusion Table: No effect for Harperella (Ptilimnium nodosum) [No suitable habitat present], May affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Small Whorled Pogonia (Isotria medeoloides) [survey conducted by qualified surveyors in 2016 found five areas of potential habitat, but no individual specimens were found within the project area], and May Affect for the Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). Relying upon the findings of the 1/5/2016 Programmatic Biological Opinion for Final 4(d) Rule on the Northern Long-Eared Bat and Activities Excepted from Take Prohibitions to fulfill project-specific section 7, the applicant proposes to comply with all voluntary conservation measures other than a time-of-year restriction because the project site is not within 0.25 miles of hibernacula and an acoustic survey for the species had negative results; and (3) the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), on behalf of FHWA, made a determination that no known properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places are in or near the permit area, or would likely be affected by the proposal.  VDHR concurred with the VDOT determination in 2012 and reiterated their concurrence in 2017.  Additional information might change any of these findings.   

For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended for projects located in Tidewater, the applicant must certify that federally licensed or permitted activities affecting Virginia's coastal uses or resources will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VCP) and obtain concurrence from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Office of Environmental Impact Review (OEIR). The applicant’s consistency certification was submitted to OEIR, and was approved by OEIR on March 13, 2017. 

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to, or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN:  CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia  23510-1011, and should be received by the close of business on July 8, 2017.  

PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY:  Comments and information, including the identity of the submitter, submitted in response to this Public Notice may be disclosed, reproduced, and distributed at the discretion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Information that is submitted in connection with this Public Notice cannot be maintained as confidential by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Submissions should not include any information that the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential.  

If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, contact

Alice Allen-Grimes at the email above or at 757-201-7219.