FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:
City of Virginia Beach
Department of Public Works
c/o David Jarman
2405 Courthouse Drive, Suite 345
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is located in Lynnhaven Inlet, a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay, at the Shore Drive (Route 60) “Lesner Bridge”, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to replace and upgrade the four-lane Route 60 “Lesner Bridge”, along Shore Drive over the Lynnhaven Inlet. Each new bridge section will have two 12-foot-wide travel lanes, 10-foot-wide outside and 6-foot-wide inside shoulders, and a 10-foot multi-use path. Four lanes of traffic and the Corps of Engineers Federal navigation channel will be maintained at all times during construction. The existing bridge will be demolished and removed, and the new bridge foundation and pier construction will be constructed using drilled shafts, cast-in-place footings and pier columns, and precast concrete bridge sections. The new bridge shall have a 150-foot horizontal and 45-foot vertical clearance over the Corps navigation channel.
The project will require the dredging of 2,530 cubic yards of subaqueous material for the installation of the 10 new instream bridge piers. The project will require the use of barges for construction access and staging, and scows for removal and disposal of dredge material, as well as the creation of an onload/offload temporary barge mooring area southwest of the bridge on City-owned property. This will include the construction of a temporary bulkhead, the excavation of 10,200 cubic yards (20,425 square feet) of upland area, the dredging of 1,289 cubic yards (6,034 square feet) of nonvegetated intertidal area, the dredging of 2,511 cubic yards (37,437 square feet) of subaqueous bottom, and the maintenance dredging of 1,825 cubic yards (37,459 square feet) of the Crab Creek channel, the latter of which was previously authorized under JPA Application Number 06-1128. No vegetated wetlands will be impacted. All dredging for this mooring area will be to a depth of -8 feet at mean low water (MLW). Dredge material that is suitable for beach nourishment is proposed to be placed on the existing beach northwest of the bridge and landward of mean high water (MHW), and on City-owned property southwest of the bridge, as shown in the attached drawings. Unsuitable dredge material and bridge demolition materials will be taken to an approved upland location for disposal. Upon completion of construction, the temporary bulkhead will be removed.
Project impacts have been minimized through the elimination of an originally-planned second barge mooring area in Lynnhaven Inlet, thus reducing the amount of dredging and impact to shallow and intertidal areas. The original bridge will be removed in its entirety, eliminating a total of 12 instream pile bents (including a total of 156 piles) and 4 instream piers, and replacing them with 10 instream piers. The applicant proposes to mitigate for the dredging impacts through artificial reef enhancement one or more of the following existing reefs: Cabbage Patch, Bluefish Rock, East Ocean View, and Back River, all administered by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC).
In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain a permit from the VMRC, and a Virginia Water Protection Permit/401 certification from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated. Project drawings are attached.
AUTHORITY: Permits are required pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403), 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 funding the project and therefore has been designated by the Corps as the lead Federal agency to fulfill the collective Federal responsibilities under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 93-205), Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (PL 89-665), and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (PL 104-267). The FHWA has preliminarily determined that: (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) the project is not likely to adversely affect any species of fish, wildlife, or plant (or their critical habitat) listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 93-205); and (3) 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. Additional information might change any of these findings. For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, the applicant must certify that federally licensed or permitted activities affecting Virginia's coastal zone (Tidewater) will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Virginia Coastal Resources Management Program (VCP). For more information or to obtain a list of the enforceable programs of the VCP, contact the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review at (804) 698-4330 or e-mail: email@example.com.
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-267), requires all Federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). Lynnhaven Inlet contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the life stages of 17 species including: juvenile and adult red hake (Urophycis chuss); juvenile and adult window pane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus); juvenile and adult bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix); adult Atlantic sea herring (Clupea harengus), egg, larval, juvenile, and adult Atlantic butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus); larval, juvenile, and adult summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus); juvenile and adult scup (Stenotomus chrysops); juvenile and adult black sea bass (Centropristus striata); egg, larval, juvenile, and adult king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), egg, larval, juvenile, and adult Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), egg, larval, juvenile, and adult cobia (Rachycentron canadum); egg, larval, juvenile, and adult red drum (Sciacenops occelatus); larval and juvenile dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscures), larval and adult sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus); adult Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizopriondon terraenovae); juvenile and adult Atlantic sea herring (Chupea harengus); larval, juvenile, and adult sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus). The habitat which this project would affect consists of 6,034 square feet of intertidal muflat, but mostly subaqueous bottom greater than -5 feet at MLW. The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above. Impacts to EFH are should be temporary and minor in nature, with limited turbidity due to intertidal sand dredging, excavation and placement. In addition, the applicant proposes mitigation in the form of artificial reef enhancement in the Chesapeake Bay. Based on comments from the National Marine Fisheries Service in response to this public notice, further EFH consultation may be necessary.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on November 16, 2012.
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 Ms. Kathy Perdue at (757) 201-7218 or Kathy.S.Perdue@usace.army.mil.
FOR THE DISTRICT COMMANDER:
Kimberly A. Prisco-Baggett, MBA
Chief, Eastern Virginia