CONCORD, Mass. – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Highway Division, 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 planned improvements to the Route 24/Route 140 Interchange in Taunton, Massachusetts.
This work is proposed in the Cotley River, unnamed tributaries to the Cotley River, and associated vegetated wetlands, at the Route 24/Route 140 Interchange, including Route 24 from the Hart Street overpass to approximately 0.45 miles south of the interchange, and Route 140 between Industrial Drive and Stevens Street in Taunton.
The proposed work includes the discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S., including 68,193 square feet (1.6 acres) of permanent impacts to vegetated wetlands, 23,380 square feet (0.5 acre) of temporary impacts to vegetated wetlands, 1,344 linear feet of permanent stream impacts, and 75 linear feet of temporary stream impacts, resulting from improvements to the Route 24/Route 140 Interchange.
The purpose of this project is to address traffic delays and improve safety within the interchange. The proposed work includes the following components: widening on Route 24 and Route 140 to accommodate additional travel lanes, acceleration/deceleration lanes, and/or dedicated left turn lanes; ramp work including realignment of existing ramps and construction of a new ramp from Route 24 southbound to Route 140 northbound; replacement of the bridges conveying Route 24 over the MBTA rail line and Route 24 over Route 140; extension of three existing culverts conveying unnamed tributaries to the Cotley River, and the existing box culvert conveying Route 140 over the Cotley River; relocation of existing utilities from the Route 140 roadbed to a new utility corridor on the south side of the road; and stormwater improvements.
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 Massachusetts Department of Transportation, can be viewed on the Corps website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices/.
Permanent Section 404 impacts associated with this project would result from roadway widening and associated side slopes, ramp construction/realignment, relocation of a stream resulting from road widening, culvert extensions, utility relocation, and stormwater improvements. Temporary Section 404 fills would result primarily from temporary construction access. As mitigation for unavoidable impacts, the applicant proposes a mix of onsite wetland restoration and replication combined with the purchase of credits from the Massachusetts In-Lieu Fee (ILF) program.
Public comments on this work proposed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (file # NAE-2019-00359) should be forwarded no later than June 11, 2020 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Dan Vasconcelos ), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Dan Vasconcelos at 978-318-8653 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.