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Posted 10/11/2011

Release no. 2011-094


Contact
Tim Dugan
978-318-8264
cenae.pa@usace.army.mil

CONCORD, Mass. – The Maine Department of Transportation is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the United States to replace the Martins Point Bridge (Route 1) in Falmouth and Portland, Maine.

 

The applicant proposes to place temporary and permanent fill material below the high tide line of the Presumpscot River and in adjacent tidal wetlands at Falmouth and Portland in order to facilitate the replacement of the existing deteriorated Martins Point Bridge (Route 1). This proposed work is designed to replace critical transportation infrastructure, ensure public safety, and protect the economic vitality of Maine’s transportation network.

 

The applicant anticipates that the bridge replacement will be constructed as a “design-build” project. As such, final designs and a final alignment have not been selected. The public notice on the Corps website lists three possible alignments. Ultimately, the Corps may only issue a permit for an alternative that is determined to be the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative (LEDPA). In anticipation of unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources, the applicant is proposing compensatory mitigation.   

 

This proposed project will impact up to 0.91 acre of Essential Fish Habitat for various species and life stages. This habitat consists of tidal benthos composed of silt, sand, and gravel and adjacent tidal marsh. Impacts will consist of temporary turbidity and construction related disturbance and the footprint of permanent approach work fills. However, the Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect will not be substantial. Further consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding Essential Fish Habitat conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.

 

The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps of Engineers in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in United States waters, including

wetlands; and with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any

work in, or affecting navigable waters of the United States. The public notice can be viewed on the Corps website at  http://www.nae.usace.army.mil. Select Regulatory/Permitting and then weekly public notices.

 

Public comments referencing this permit request (File # NAE-2011-01495) should be forwarded no later than Nov. 9, 2011 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Maine Project Office (ATTN: Jay Clement), 675 Western Ave., #3, Manchester, Maine 04351. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Jay Clement at 207-623-8367 Ext. 1 or by email to jay.l.clement@usace.army.mil.