US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website

NAO-2013-1972

Published April 18, 2014
Expiration date: 5/18/2014

The district commander has received a joint application for federal and state permits as described below:

APPLICANT
Bizzack Construction, LLC
2265 Executive Drive
Lexington, Kentucky 40505

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  Phase II of the Route 460 Connector project will be located in multiple streams in the Big Sandy watershed, including  Barts Lick Creek, Hunts Creek, Middle Fork and numerous unnamed tributaries, beginning at the terminus of Phase I of the Route 460 Connector project and continuing southeast in Buchanan County, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The applicant proposes to construct as a Design-Build project, a 6.2 mile-long four-lane, median divided, rural principal arterial highway (US Route 460) on new alignment and a new connection to State Route 609 at Bull Gap.  Development of the four-lane highway, road fill  and embankment construction, will permanently impact approximately 580 linear feet of perennial stream channel, 5,970 linear feet of intermittent stream channel, 9,420 linear feet of ephemeral stream channel, 0.50 acre of palustrine emergent wetlands (PEM), and 0.71 acre of palustrine open water (POW).  Temporary impacts to 4,540 linear feet of stream channel will occur as a result of the construction of sediment basins.

The stated purpose of the project is to improve system linkage, roadway deficiencies, driver safety, and economic development opportunities and to link sections of the Appalachian Development Highway System Corridor Q.

The applicant indicates that avoidance and minimization of impacts to aquatic resources were considered during project location and design.  Factors considered in the avoidance/minimization effort included stream and wetland impacts, horizontal and vertical alignments of the planned roadway, the project footprint, impacts on residential relocations, and project costs.  The preferred project location is along the tops of ridges, raising the planned grade in areas of cut to minimize excavation while lowering planned grades in fill areas to reduce fill limits.  Permanent sediment basins will be constructed in the uplands to the maximum extent practicable to avoid impacts to streams and wetlands.  All stream channel impacts associated with the construction of temporary sediment basins will be restored to preconstruction condition using natural channel design.

The Unified Stream Methodology (USM) was used by the applicant to determine the compensation requirement (CR) for permanent stream channel impacts; the assessment forms show that the CR is 12,636 credits.  The wetland impacts will be compensated at a 1:1 ratio.   The applicant proposes permittee responsible mitigation that will consist of off-site stream restoration/enhancement and wetland enhancement.  The applicant has identified 5 compensation sites within the Grassy Creek and Upper Levisa watersheds.  

a)     Compensation activities proposed at the Middle Fork site will consist of stream restoration on approximately 2,040 linear feet of stream channel with 8.8 acres of reforested riparian buffer with an average width of 144 feet.

b)     Compensation activities proposed at the Hunts Creek 1 site will consist of stream restoration on approximately 630 linear feet of stream channel with 3.1 acres of reforested riparian buffer with an average width of 200 feet.

c)     Compensation activities proposed at the Hunts Creek 2 site will consist of stream restoration on approximately 1,285 linear feet of stream channel with 11.8 acres of reforested riparian buffer with an average buffer width of 400 feet and 1.0 acre of wetland enhancement.

d)     Compensation activities proposed at the Dotson Fork site will consist of stream restoration on approximately 1,620 linear feet of stream channel with 9.2 acres of reforested riparian buffer with an average buffer width of 247 feet.

e)     Compensation activities proposed at the Cranesnest River site will consist of stream restoration on approximately 3,530 linear feet of stream channel with 26 acres of reforested riparian buffer with an average buffer width of 320 feet.

Aerial photos of the proposed compensation sites are attached to this public notice.

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 and a permit from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to encroach upon State bottoms.  Project drawings are attached.

The public notice and selected drawings can be viewed at http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Media/PublicNotices.aspx.  To receive a copy of the drawings, please write or call Jeanne Richardson at 434.384.0182 or by email at jeanne.c.richardson@usace.army.mil.

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.

Preliminary review indicates that:  (1) an Environmental Assessment (EA) was approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on March 26, 2009 and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued by FHWA on January 26, 2010; (2); on January 23, 2014 FHWA (as lead federal agency) submitted a request for formal conference for the Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB) to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and effects, if any, to the NLEB are unknown at this time; (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.  

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers, West Central Field Office, PO Box 3160, Lynchburg, Virginia 24503, and should be received by the close of business on May 18, 2014. 

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 Jeanne C. Richardson 434-384-0182 or by email jeanne.c.richardson@usace.army.mil.