CONCORD, Mass. – Applicants Mark Lender and Harry Bajraktari are seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with construction of a bulkhead and groins in Clinton, Conn. This work is proposed in Long Island Sound at 155 and 157 Shore Road in Clinton.
The proposed work includes the construction of a sheet pile bulkhead, and the reconstruction of a stone groin and a timber groin for storm protection. The project has been separated into two components: construction of the stone groin; and construction of the bulkhead and repair of the timber groin. The first component, the construction of the stone groin, was previously on public notice; however, minor project changes and the addition of the second component to the project have resulted in the need to solicit further public comment.
The construction of a stone groin involves the placement of 80 cubic yards of stone into a 360-square-foot area of Long Island Sound in order to reconstruct a groin that was originally constructed sometime in the early 1900s, but is not currently serviceable and is in disrepair. The original groin was approximately 50 feet long by 6 to 8 feet wide, but has been displaced and at present covers a 900-square-foot area. The reconstructed groin is proposed to match the original footprint but also extend an additional 10 feet into Long Island Sound.
The proposed groin will begin at the existing seawall and extend 60 feet water-ward. The groin will be approximately 6 feet wide and range in elevation above the substrate from 3.5 to 6 feet. The groin will have stairs built into it in order to provide access over the groin. The proponent stated that the groin is capable of protecting adjacent residences while not preventing sediment from moving to the other local beaches. Additionally, the applicant has stated that the groin will maximize the width of the beach in front of the residences it protects, while not significantly impacting neighboring beaches.
The applicant stated that the rock groin was chosen as the preferred alternative as it provides habitat and absorbs energy as opposed to reflecting it. The original groin was composed of wood and stone, but the new groin will be composed solely of stone. The applicant stated that they designed the groin to have an elevation only 3 feet above MHW at its highest point.
An additional adjacent 26-linear-foot timber groin will be repaired and retained. This timber groin also has been in place since the 1960s. The timber groin extends approximately 40 feet from the bulkhead. Repairs will consist of replacing horizontal boards from the groin. There will be no increase in the existing height or length of the groin. Existing 12-inch pilings will be retained and reused. The timber groin acts as a wave attenuation device and while it has been repaired over the years, it is the preferred construction method to reduce wave energy due to the relatively low costs of installation and maintenance.
The project also includes shoreline stabilization through the construction of a sheet pile bulkhead to replace the failing stone and mortar seawall that was constructed prior to the 1960s. The wall was constructed without a footing and has been undermined which makes it susceptible to collapse. The purpose of the reconstruction is to limit property damage.
Work associated with reconstruction of the seawall and construction of the sheet pile bulkhead includes: removal of a small section of concrete on the western end of the seawall in order to establish a flush surface to construct the new seawall; removal of the existing concrete stairs attached to the seawall; construction of the 99-linear-foot sheet pile bulkhead approximately 18-inches waterward of the existing seawall using land based machinery; the addition of 38.5 cubic yards of concrete fill over a 148.5-square-foot area behind the bulkhead to solidify the existing wall; and construction of a concrete cap on top the bulkhead and seawall.
Upon completion of the construction of the seawall, the applicant has proposed to build a seasonal aluminum stairway that will be anchored to the wall. The stairway will be comprised of a 3-foot x 3-foot landing and a 10-foot x 3-foot stairway that will be constructed parallel to the seawall in order to provide water access.
There is no dredging proposed. Placement of rock associated with the construction of the stone groin will impact approximately 360 square feet of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). Placement of concrete associated with the construction of the bulkhead will impact approximately 148.5 square feet of EFH. Habitat at this site can be described as sand, gravel and cobble. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect species that use these waters and substrate. 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 EFH 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 in compliance with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any work in, or affecting navigable waters of the U.S.; and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands. The public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work, can be viewed on the Corps website at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
Public comments on the proposed work (file # NAE-2017-00993) should be forwarded no later than Oct. 18, 2018 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Joshua Helms), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Joshua Helms at 978-318-8211 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: email@example.com.