The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below
Loudon County Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure
ATTN: Mr. Joe Kroboth
Department of Public Works
1 Harrison Street, SE 4th Floor
Leesburg, VA 20176
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK
The project is approximately 1.5 miles of improvements to a section of Route 659 and Route 7 by eliminating substandard curves and steep slopes. The intersection is located in Loudon County, VA.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE
The applicant proposes to improve traffic flow in the area and to alleviate the traffic delays at the intersection of Route 7 and Route 659 caused by turning movements and a substandard geometry and roadway width on Route 659. This project would support the County’s goal of widening Route 7 to eight lanes and would advance the State/County goal of turning Route 7 into a limited access freeway one step further. Proposed work includes a single-point urban interchange, which would carry Route 659 over Route 7. A single traffic signal would be installed above the single-point interchange on the bridge deck, and all turning movements would be adequately accommodated by the interchange. The interchange ramps would be designed to accommodate the state-planned future widening of Route 7 to eight lanes. Route 659 is proposed to include a four-lane divided roadway with a wide median to accommodate future widening to six lanes in the median. Existing (2011) traffic volumes indicate a 79,600 average daily traffic (ADT) on Route 7 and approximately 15,100 ADT on Route 659. Based on traffic projections, these volumes are expected to grow by 2039 to approximately 141,400 ADT and 29,700 ADT, respectively. The need for an interchange at the existing intersection is evident from existing travel patterns, peak hour delays, and backups (queues) at the existing signal.
The proposed work will permanently impact 0.397 ac. of nontidal forested wetlands, 0.156 ac. of nontidal emergent wetlands, 0.013 ac. of nontidal open water wetlands, 1994 linear feet of streams. In addition, the proposed work will result in temporary impacts to 0.012 ac. of nontidal emergent wetlands, 0.007 ac. of nontidal open water wetlands and 275 linear feet of streams.
To compensate for unavoidable permanent impacts to non-tidal wetlands and streams, the applicant proposes to purchase 0.970 wetland mitigation credits and 2,004 stream compensation credits to mitigate for impacts from an approved mitigation bank (2:1 for forested, 1.5:1 for scrub shrub, and 1:1 for emergent). The applicant anticipates using a competitive bid procurement process to select the non-tidal bank.
In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain 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 and a permit from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. Partial project drawings are attached.
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.
Preliminary review indicates that: (l) the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) prepared an Environmental Assessment for this project in February 2012, and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact on April 23, 2013; no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) as the lead Federal agency, FHWA determined that no 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) will be affected; and (3) as the lead Federal agency, FHWA coordinated with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in 2008 and determined that no known properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers, 1329 Alum Spring Road, Suite 202, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401, and should be received by the close of business on January 13, 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. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cannot maintain information that is submitted in connection with this Public Notice as confidential. 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, or wish to request copies of additional project drawings, contact Regena Bronson at 540-548-2838 or email@example.com.
FOR THE DISTRICT COMMANDER:
Northern Virginia Regulatory Section