NAO-2015-1785 Military Highway improvements

Published Feb. 29, 2016
Expiration date: 3/29/2016

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


Corman-EV Williams, a Joint Venture

c/o Jo Ellen Sines

12001 Guilford Road

Annapolis Junction, Maryland 20701  

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The project is located in waters and wetlands associated with the hydrologic unit code (HUC) 02080208 (Hampton Roads watershed) and 02080108 (Lynnhaven-Poquoson watershed). This project is on existing Military Highway between Lowery Road and the Interstate-64 (I-64) beltway and involves impacts to Broad Creek, a tributary to Broad Creek and a tributary to Lake Whitehurst in Norfolk, Virginia.   

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to improve an approximately 1.58 mile corridor along Military Highway (US Route 13 and State Route 165) and Northhampton Boulevard (US Route 13 and State Route 166) to upgrade highway safety and efficiency. Proposed improvements include widening of Military Highway from a four lane roadway to a six and eight land divided roadway with a curb, gutter, and sidewalk; widening of Northampton Boulevard and Princess Anne Road from a four lane roadway to a six lane divided roadway with curb, gutter, and sidewalk; installation of a Continuous Flow Intersection at the intersection of Military Highway, Northampton Boulevard, and Princess Anne Road; and attendant required storm water management features.   

Unavoidable impacts to wetlands and waters are necessary for the proposed roadway project to improve level of service, traffic flow, and highway safety. This project will permanently impact 0.040 acre of non-tidal emergent wetland, 0.181 acre of palustrine unconsolidated bottom (PUB) within man-made ditches, 0.021 acre of non-tidal forested wetland, 0.714 acre of tidal vegetated wetland, and 0.163 acre of tidal open water. An additional 0.501 acres of temporary impacts to tidal emergent wetlands will also be necessary. Measures used to minimize the impacts to tidal wetlands include steeping field slope from 3:1 to 2:1, minimizing impacts to the tidal open water channel, and inclusion of a larger culvert in Broad Creek of appropriate size to better handle storm water drainage to benefit aquatic movement. Unavoidable impacted areas are proposed to be mitigated at commercial mitigation banks authorized to offset impacts within the watershed. Details include purchasing 0.051 non-tidal wetland credits from the Lewis Farm Mitigation Bank, 0.031 non-tidal wetland credits from the Middle Peninsula Mitigation Bank, and 33,257 tidal wetland credits from the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund.     

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 Norfolk Wetlands Board. 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 the lead agency for this project and will be coordinating all final required consultations to fulfill the collective federal responsibilities under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 93-205) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (PL 89-665).  Preliminary review indicates that: (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) the project is not likely to adversely affect any species of 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 for projects located in Tidewater, the applicant must certify that federally licensed or permitted activities affecting Virginia's coastal uses or resources will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VCP) and obtain concurrence from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Office of Environmental Impact Review (OEIR). We have not received a certification from the applicant prior to publication of this public notice. 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: 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: or 

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). Broad Creek may contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the egg, larval, juvenile, and adult life stages of twelve species including the adult stage of windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), juvenile and adult stages of bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), all life stages of Atlantic butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus), larvae, juveniles, and adult stages of summer flounder (Paralicthys dentatus), juvenile and adult stages of black sea bass (Centropristus striata), all life stages of king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), all life stages of Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), all life stages of cobia (Rachycentron canadum), all life stages of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), larvae stage of dusky shark (Charcharinus obscurus), larvae, juvenile, and adult stages of sandbar shark (Charcharinus plumbeus), and the Atlantic angel shark (Squatina dumeril).   

The habitat which this project would affect consists of shallow water and intertidal wetlands, and is not likely to adversely affect EFH. The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above. Our assessment of the project leads us to a preliminary determination that it will not have a significant adverse effect on EFH and therefore expanded EFH consultation is not required. Our rationale for this preliminary determination is based on the expected short-term nature of the direct impacts/minimal increases in turbidity/changes in water temperature or salinity caused by the proposed work and the avoidance and mitigation efforts proposed in the project. For the Broad Creek Crossing, the applicant proposes to include gradual side slopes and other elements to mimic the existing channel to allow sufficient water to remain in the channel to allow for aquatic life movements during all tide cycles including low tide. For the tidal open water affected areas of the Broad Creek Crossing, the proposed culvert widening and grading will provide similar aquatic habitat as the channel to be filled and will allow for a smooth transition from the proposed culvert to the existing main channel of Broad Creek. 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 March 29, 2016.  

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 Lee Fuerst at 757-201-7832 or email her at