NAO-2013-01888/14-V1730

Published Dec. 5, 2014
Expiration date: 1/5/2015

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

APPLICANT
Fort Myer Construction
Attn: Mr. Sayyed A. Ridwan
2237 33rd Street, NE
Washington, DC  20018

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The project site contains unnamed tributaries to Elklick Run and is located at the intersection of Braddock Road (Route 620) and Pleasant Valley Road (Route 609) in Fairfax County, Virginia. 

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The applicant proposes improvements to the intersection of Braddock Road and Pleasant Valley Road.  The project consists of the construction of a roundabout and a northbound right turn by-pass lane with associated crosswalks and curb ramps for pedestrians and stormwater controls.  The purpose of the proposed roundabout is to alleviate the substantial congestion in this area that results in major backups and delays.

The intersection is currently a four-way stop, with a single lane in each direction.

Approximately 7,500 vehicles travel this section of Braddock Road per day and approximately 8,500 vehicles travel along Pleasant Valley Road per day. During peak weekday travel hours, this intersection experiences significant congestion and extensive backups on Braddock Road eastbound in the mornings and westbound in the evenings. This congestion results in severe delays for commuters.  The existing intersection lacks the amenities to accommodate pedestrians and does not adequately serve the existing traffic demand.                                                                                                                  

As proposed the project will temporarily  0.51 acre and permanently impact 0.82 acres of jurisdictional wetlands and waters of the United States.  Permanent impacts are 0.08 acre of Palustrine forested wetland (PFO), 0.09 acre of Palustrine scrub-shrub wetland (PSS), 0.65 acre of Palustrine emergent wetland (PEM), and 0.002 acre (38 linear feet) of stream channel. Permanent conversion impacts are to 0.08 acre PFO to PEM. Temporary impacts are to 0.15 acre PFO, 0.06 acre PSS and 0.30 acre PEM. 

As compensation for permanent wetland and stream impacts, the applicant proposes to purchase 0.95 wetland credits from the Cedar Run Wetlands Bank and the purchase of    31 stream credits from the Grasslands Mitigation Bank and/or another approved mitigation bank.    

In regards to avoidance and minimization, the applicant states that due to site constraints and wetlands present on both sides of the roadway, total wetland avoidance was not feasible during project design. The size and configuration of the roundabout is limited in space to accommodate the significant congestion and extensive backups on Braddock Road eastbound and westbound. A no build alternative was considered but it would not meet the project purpose and the need of alleviating traffic problems at Braddock Road.

In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain a Virginia Water Protection Permit/401certification 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 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) FHWA determined that the project qualifies for a Categorical Exclusion (CE) which they signed April 19, 2013.  No environmental impact statement will be required.  (2) after conducting the NAO ESA Project Review Process, no listed/proposed/candidate 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 will be affected. Based on this no effect determination, no further coordination with the Fish and Wildlife Service is required; 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).  It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a consistency certification to the Office of Environmental Impact Review for concurrence or objection and proof of concurrence must be submitted to the Corps prior to final permit issuance. A template federal consistency certification can be found here: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/EnvironmentalImpactReview/FederalConsistencyReviews.aspx#cert .  For more information or to obtain a list of the enforceable policies of the VCP, contact the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review at 804-698-4330 or e-mail: ellie.irons@deq.virginia.gov or john.fisher@deq.virginia.go

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R), 1329 Alum Spring Road, Suite 202, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401 and should be received by the close of business on Jan. 5, 2015.

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, please call: Regena Bronson at 540-548-2838 or email at regena.d.bronson@usace.army.mil.

FOR THE DISTRICT COMMANDER:

Regena Bronson
Acting Chief, Northern Virginia 
Regulatory Section