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Town of Wallingford seeks Corps permit to impact wetlands to construct recreational path along the Quinnipiac River

Published Oct. 4, 2011

CONCORD, Mass. – The town of Wallingford is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the United States in conjunction with proposed work to construct a recreational path along the Quinnipiac River in Wallingford, Conn.


The proposed project involves the discharge of fill material for the construction of a 6,500-linear-foot, multi-use recreational trail, most of which (about 1.5 acres) will be located below the ordinary high water mark of the Quinnipiac River. This will be Phase III of the Quinnipiac River Linear Trail; two phases of the trail have been completed extending from Community Lake to the Route 15 crossing of the river.


This part of the project will continue on from the culvert at Route 15 to just north of the Chapel and Main Street intersection along a reach of the Quinnipiac River on land owned by the town. The property consists of mostly forested floodplain with some forested and scrub shrub wetlands. There will be approximately 1,900 square feet of impacts to federal wetlands mostly due to temporary construction of the access road.


The trail is designed to be a 10-foot wide paved pathway with a two-foot stone dust edge on one side, and will be at a grade to match the existing conditions for most of its length. The varied uses envisioned for the walkway include biking, roller blading, skate boarding, walking and running.


Wood rail fences will be located at select locations to ensure the safety of the trail users. There will also be three pedestrian bridges. One 210-foot long bridge will be constructed across the main stem of the Quinnipiac River; a 95-foot long bridge will be constructed across the river’s raceway (located to the west of the main channel); and the third bridge is proposed across a drainage channel. Elevated boardwalks are proposed in several locations to enable the flow of ground water and sheet flow between the river and wetlands.


The applicant’s proposal will avoid impacting federal wetlands by placing the walkway outside most of the federal wetlands on the site, except for one area in section RA#4 for 283 square feet, and avoids impacting the state endangered plant known as false mermaid weed which exists at the site. The wetlands impacted by the temporary access road will be returned to their original state after the work is done.  


The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps of Engineers in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in United States waters, including

wetlands. The public notice can be viewed on the Corps website at  http://www.nae.usace.army.mil. Select Regulatory/Permitting and then weekly public notices.

Public comments on the Corps permit review (File # NAE-2010-1841) should be forwarded no later than Nov. 4, 2011 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Barbara Newman), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Barbara Newman at 978-318-8515 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: barbara.h.newman@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2011-092