CONCORD, Mass. –The Vermont Agency of Transportation, located at 219 North Main Street in Barre, Vermont, 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 replacing the US Route 2 bridge over Interstate 89, and the partial reconstruction of the Exit 17 interchange in Colchester, Vermont.
This work is proposed in wetlands adjacent to tributaries of Lake Champlain at Exit 17 off of Interstate 89 in Colchester, Vermont.
The proposed work involves the placement of fill material within 1.66 acres of wetlands in conjunction with the replacement of the existing US Route 2 bridge over Interstate 89, and the partial reconstruction of the Exit 17 interchange. The purpose of the project is to rehabilitate the 1-89 Exit 17 interchange and adjacent intersection of US Route 2 and 7 to current AASHTO standards to improve safety and mobility for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The proposed project will permanently impact approximately 50,772 square feet (1.17 acres) of wetlands from the reconfiguration of the existing 1-89 northbound off-ramp, construction of a new southbound off-ramp and new southbound onramp, and construction of stormwater improvements. The work will temporarily impact approximately 21,706 square feet (0.5 acre) of wetlands during construction. The wetlands to be impacted are emergent and scrub-shrub wetlands immediately adjacent to a heavily travelled highway and function primarily to maintain water quality.
The project has been designed using the best available measures to avoid and minimize adverse impacts. There are no less environmentally damaging practicable off-site alternative alignments for the roadway. The "no build" alternative does not allow the applicant to achieve the project purpose of meeting National Highway Standards. To compensate for the project's projected natural resource impacts, including unavoidable impacts to wetlands, the applicant proposes to make a payment to the Ducks Unlimited - Vermont In-Lieu Fee Program.
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 Vermont Agency of Transportation, can be viewed on the Corps website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices/.
Public comments on this work proposed by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (file # NAE-2017-00358) should be forwarded no later than April 9, 2020 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Vermont Project Office (ATTN: Michael Adams), 11 Lincoln Street, Room 210, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Michael Adams at 802-872-2893 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.