The district commander has received a joint application for federal and state permits as described below:
Virginia Department of Transportation
c/o Dianna C. Sheesley
1601 Orange Road
Culpeper, VA 22701
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: This interchange project is located on Route 29 and Route 666 at the intersection of James Madison Highway (Route 29) and Braggs Corner Road (Route 666) in Culpeper County, Va.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to replace an existing 4-way signalized intersection with a grade-separated interchange. The purpose of the proposed project is to address safety and traffic operations related to the long-term traffic growth along US 29 and at the intersection of US 29/ Route 666 and provide an appropriate linkage between multiple classifications of roadways. Route 29 is a 4-lane divided north-south roadway and is classified as a Rural Principal Highway with a posted speed limit of 60 MPH. Route 666 is a two-lane undivided east-west roadway and is classified as a Local Collector with a posted speed limit of 45MPH. The existing intersection at Route 29/666 serves as the main primary intersection for Eastern View High School and the Culpeper County Sports complex. This section of Route 29 currently carries approximately 21,000 cars.
The proposed project would involve the replacement of an existing 4-way signalized intersection with a grade-separated diamond interchange configuration with ramp intersections at Route 666 and Route 29. The proposed interchange would impact 5 distinct wetland areas, with a total wetland impact of 1.342 acres (0.931 PEM and 0.411 PSS). The project would also impact 3 intermittent streams (620' total) and 1 ephemeral stream (90'). The total fill in streams would be 114 cubic yd.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project and requests for hard copies should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: Hal Wiggins), 1329 Alum Springs Road Suite 202, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401-7001, and should be received by the close of business on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.
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 Hal Wiggins at 540- 548-2517 or Harold.j.Wiggins@usace.army.mil.
FOR THE DISTRICT COMMANDER:
Anna R. Lawston
Acting Chief, Northern Virginia