CONCORD, Mass. – The Maine Turnpike Authority 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 the reconstruction of Exit 45 off the Maine Turnpike (Maine Mall Exit) in South Portland, Maine.
The Maine Turnpike Authority proposes to place temporary and permanent fill material in freshwater wetlands adjacent to Red Brook, Long Creek, and their unnamed tributaries in conjunction with the reconstruction of Exit 45 off the Maine Turnpike (Maine Mall Exit) in South Portland.
The proposed project is designed to maintain and enhance safety and operational efficiency for current and future traffic by replacing the substandard Exit 45 ramp bridge to remedy deficiencies, replacing the current obsolete toll plaza with modern tolling facilities and technology meeting turnpike-wide system requirements, and improving the highway and toll plaza geometrics in accordance with design standards.
Impacts to aquatic resources include approximately 5.86 acres of permanent and 2.15 acres of temporary wetland fills. All but 2.86 acres of the 5.86 acres of permanent wetland impact will be to wetlands routinely kept cleared as part of turnpike right-of-way maintenance.
To compensate for the project's projected natural resource impacts, including unavoidable impacts to waterways and wetlands, the applicant proposes a contribution to the Maine Natural Resource Mitigation Fund (Maine In Lieu Fee Program) in the compensation plan. The applicant is proposing these measures seeking to compensate for and lessen the project's impact on aquatic and other natural resources.
A public notice is soliciting comments on this proposed project from the interested or affected public as well as those agencies who speak to the public interest. It also solicits recommendations for alternative measures not yet identified by the applicant. After receipt of the comments, the Corps will obtain any necessary additional information from the applicant and determine whether the proposed measure is practicable and serves to help mitigate this project's unavoidable impacts.
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 Turnpike Authority, can be viewed on the Corps website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices/.
Public comments on this work proposed by the Maine Turnpike Authority (file # NAE-2018-02924) should be forwarded no later than July 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.