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 work on the Assabet River Rail Trail and replacing bridges in Maynard and Acton, Mass. The proposed work involves the discharge of 19,056 square feet of fill material into Assabet River, Mill Pond and various unnamed waters of the U.S., including wetlands.
The purpose of the work is to provide a public recreational amenity by constructing a 3.42-mile-long section of multi-use, recreational trail along the Marlborough Branch of the former Fitchburg railroad line. While the majority of the trail will be constructed on the existing railroad right-of-way, a pile-supported boardwalk section is proposed over vegetated wetlands in order to detour around existing commercial development on a portion of the right-of-way. The proposed work includes the replacement of existing bridges over the Assabet River in Maynard (bridge No. M-10-012) and Mill Pond in Acton (bridge No. A-02-042).
Fills would result from: construction of a paved, 8- to 12-foot wide, multi-use trail, primarily along the abandoned railroad bed; installation of temporary cofferdams and associated temporary dewatering to allow repairs to the bridge abutments at the existing Assabet River bridge crossing; installation of temporary cofferdams and associated temporary dewatering to allow replacement of the existing bridge abutments at the Mill Pond bridge crossing; and installation of temporary cofferdams and associated temporary dewatering to allow construction of a new, pile-supported boardwalk section over vegetated wetlands.
Of the total impact, 263 square feet would be permanent wetland impacts, 6,038 square feet would be permanent waterway impacts, 9,476 square feet would be temporary wetland impacts, and 3,279 square feet would be temporary waterway impacts. Permanent impacts would result primarily from grading associated with trail construction. Temporary impacts would result primarily from dewatering to work in the dry.
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 proposed work, can be viewed on the Corps website at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx. Public comments on this proposed work (file #NAE-2014-02059) should be forwarded no later than July 2, 2015 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: email@example.com.