CONCORD, Mass. – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Highway Division (MassDOT), 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 proposed work on the I-95/University Avenue Interchange in Dedham and Westwood, Mass.
MassDOT is proposing the discharge of 10,249 square feet of fill material into unnamed waters and wetlands associated with improvements to the I-95/University Avenue Interchange in Dedham and Westwood. The purpose of the work is to address existing design deficiencies of the I-95 southbound ramp at University Avenue and to reduce congestion. The proposed work would include the following components: addition of auxiliary lane on I-95 southbound between rest area and University Avenue off-ramp; realignment of University Avenue off-ramp; improvements to University Avenue/Blue Hill Drive intersection; and improvements to University Avenue/MBTA Driveway intersection.
Of the total 10,249 square feet of impact, 6,995 square feet would be permanent and 3,254 square feet would be temporary. Permanent Section 404 fills would result from rip-rap slopes associated with the construction of the auxiliary lane and realigned off-ramp, and from the widening of a portion of University Avenue, where a 30-inch reinforced concrete pipe will be installed to convey the flow within the existing wetland/swale to be filled. Temporary Section 404 fills would result from fence removal and associated vegetation clearing, removal of an existing outfall structure, and construction access to the mitigation area.
Although this project may have only minimal impacts and may be eligible for authorization under the current Massachusetts General Permit, the work is not expected to begin until after the GP expires on Jan. 20, 2015. The applicant is seeking an individual permit to allow for a full five years in which to complete the work.
The application for the permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates discharge or fill of material in U. S. waters, including wetlands. The public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work, can be viewed on the Corps website at http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
Public comments on this work proposed by MassDOT (file # NAE-2009-00716) should be forwarded no later than June 5, 2014 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.