CONCORD, Mass. – The Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) is 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 reconstructing a section of Route 4 between Phillips and Madrid, Maine.
Maine DOT proposes to place temporary and permanent fill below the ordinary high water of the Sandy River and several unnamed streams and in adjacent freshwater wetlands between Phillips and Madrid in order to reconstruct a 4.58 mile section of Route 4. Reconstruction begins at Toothaker Pond Road in Madrid and continues easterly into Phillips. This proposed work is designed to maintain critical transportation infrastructure, ensure public safety, and protect the economic vitality of Maine's transportation network.
The project proposes to maintain the existing alignment of the roadway with the exception of minor horizontal shifts and to provide safety improvements in the vicinity of the Smalls Falls Rest Area and Reeds Mill Road. These areas are considered high crash locations. The project includes two bridge replacements, the Weymouth Bridge in Madrid and the Wing Bridge in Phillips. Reconstruction will result in approximately 8,700 square feet of permanent and 14,840 square feet of temporary stream bed impact, and 52,899 square feet of permanent and 37,810 square feet of temporary wetland impact.
In anticipation of unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources, the applicant is proposing compensatory mitigation and agreed to compensate for the project's unavoidable wetland impacts with funding toward Maine's Natural Resources Conservation Fund (In Lieu Fee Program). The applicant is proposing this compensation seeking to lessen the project's impacts. The Corps is seeking comments on this proposal from the interested or affected public as well as those agencies who speak to the public interest. After receipt of the comments, the Corps will obtain any necessary additional information from the applicant and determine whether the proposed compensation is practicable and serves to adequately mitigate this project's unavoidable impacts.
In water construction at the site will impact Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for Atlantic salmon. This habitat consists of stream bed composed of cobbles and boulders interspersed with smaller stones, silt, sand and gravel. Consultation has been initiated with the National Marine Fisheries Service. The Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect will not be substantial. Any consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding EFH conservation recommendations will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.
The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with 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 work proposed by the Maine Department of Transportation, can be viewed on the Corps website at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
Public comments on this work proposed by the Maine Department of Transportation (file # NAE-2018-02856) should be forwarded no later than Jan. 4, 2019 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division, Maine Project Office (ATTN: Jay Clement), 442 Civic Center Drive, Suite 350, Augusta, Maine, 04330. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Jay Clement at 207-623-8367, ext. 1 or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.