US Army Corps of Engineers
Nashville District

Public Notices

Public Notice No. 19-27; File No. LRN-2019-00386

Published July 15, 2019
Expiration date: 8/15/2019

Public Notice No. 19-27  
Nashville District       
Application No.  LRN-2019-00386                                       
Date:  July 15, 2019; Expires:  August 15, 2019

Please address comments to:  Nashville District Corps of Engineers
                                                       Regulatory Division
                                                       3701 Bell Road
                                                       Nashville, Tennessee 37214

SUBJECT:  Proposed discharge of fill material into waters of the United States to facilitate the reconstruction of SR-60 from the four-lane portion north of I-75 (Westlake Drive) to SR-306, near Cleveland, Bradley County, Tennessee.  TDOT Project # 06009-1215-14.  TDOT PIN 101430.01

TO ALL CONCERNED:  The application described below has been submitted for a Department of the Army (DA) Permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the discharge of fill material into waters of the United States (U.S.).  Before a permit can be issued, certification must be provided by the State of Tennessee, pursuant to Section 401(a)(1) of the CWA, that applicable water quality standards will not be violated.  The applicant has applied for the required certification.

APPLICANT:  Tennessee Department of Transportation
                       505 Deaderick Street, Suite 900
                       J.K. Polk Building
                       Nashville, Tennessee 37243

LOCATION:  The 2.95-mile project to widen SR-60 (Georgetown Road) begins at the four-lane portion north of I-75 (near Westlake Drive), and ends near SR-306 (Eureka Road), located near Cleveland, Bradley County, Tennessee.  Coordinates of the project beginning and ending are approximately  35.1999°, -84.8895° and 35.2349°, -84.8881°, respectively.  Waters of the U.S. proposed for impact include Candies Creek near Log Mile 18.58, unnamed tributaries to Candies Creek, and unnamed wetlands.  The project is located within Bradley County, Tennessee and within the Candies Creek Lower Watershed (HUC-12: 060200021303).

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:  The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) proposes to widen SR-60 (Georgetown Road) to a five-lane section with four 12-foot travel lanes, a 12- foot continuous center turn lane, ten-foot paved shoulders/bike lanes on both sides, curb and gutter, and five-foot sidewalks on both sides within a 104 feet right-of-way.  The existing bridge over Candies Creek (STR-3) and Stream 2 (STR-2) would be completely removed and replaced. The project scope also
includes required utility line relocations and all associated drainage improvements.  The total proposed length of roadway construction and improvements is 2.95 miles.  The estimated timeline for completing this project is five years.  In order to facilitate the project, the discharge of fill material is proposed within five (5) ephemeral streams, eight (8) intermittent or perennial streams, and three (3) wetlands.  A total of 1,542 linear feet of streams (0.124 acre) and 1.966 acres of wetland would be permanently impacted by the proposed discharge of fill material related to the roadway improvements.  An estimated total of up to 130 linear feet of streams (0.028 acre) would be temporarily impacted by the proposed discharge of fill material related to the relocation of various utilities required as part of the roadway project. Additionally, the proposal includes the discharge of temporary fill material associated with Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control (EPSC).  A complete set of project drawings for this public notice is located at: https://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Media/Public-Notices/

PURPOSE AND NEED:  According to the permit application, the primary purposes of the proposed project are to develop a transportation solution that improves safety for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists; to provide capacity to handle projected traffic; and to improve transportation system linkages between the cities of Dayton and Cleveland, Tennessee.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION OF IMPACTS TO WATERS OF THE U.S.: According to the applicant, efforts were made during the planning and design phases of this project to avoid impacts to waters of the U.S. to the extent practicable, and to minimize impacts that were not avoidable.  During completion of the Environmental Assessment, TDOT examined two alternatives, the “No-Build Alternative” and one “Build Alternative” (the selected alternative).  The No-Build Alternative is not proposed by TDOT, since it does not meet the purpose and need of the project.  The Build Alternative was selected to satisfy purpose and need.

To minimize impacts to aquatic resources and aquatic species passage, a span bridge is proposed over Candies Creek (STR-3) and two adjacent wetlands (WTL-1 & WTL-3), and steeper roadway side slopes are proposed throughout the project, where practicable.  Following removal of the existing bridge over Candies Creek (STR-3) and Stream 2 (STR-2), avoidance and minimization measures such as planting the area with a native riparian mix and/or planting native trees are proposed.  Impacts to Wetland 5 (WTL-5) were reduced from 0.056 acre to 0.033 acre by modifying the roadway fill slopes. Additionally, the proposed box culvert at Stream 9 (STR-9) is proposed to be embedded one foot deep within the stream channel to facilitate passage of aquatic species, such as fish; this embedded box culvert is proposed to be back-filled with natural creek gravel to a depth of one foot.  Measures to facilitate aquatic species passage are not proposed for the following structures: Stream 5 (STR-5), Stream 7 (STR-7), Stream 8 (STR-8), and ephemeral streams; data shows that these stream resources do not currently allow for aquatic species passage because of ephemeral flow, existing nearby obstructions, or because the streams originate within the project footprint.  Any riprap channel protection placed within the stream channels at the inlet or outlet of culverts would be placed to mimic the existing contours of the stream.  The top of the proposed riprap would be installed at grade with the bottom of the stream channel and voids within the riprap would be filled with creek gravel to prevent stream loss within riprap areas.

To minimize erosion and avoid sediment release into waters of U.S., three phases of construction are designed and included in the construction plans.  A maximum of 50 acres of land disturbance would be allowed at any given time and all in-water construction activities would be completed in the dry and separated from flowing water by using temporary cofferdams, cribs, or stream diversion as appropriate.  Standard Best Management Practices are proposed to reduce erosion and
sedimentation.  High visibility fencing would be installed during construction to ensure that only authorized impacts to waters of the U.S. occur.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION:  To compensate for unavoidable permanent impacts to 1,542 linear feet of streams, the applicant proposes to obtain 790 stream credits from the Oostanaula Stream Mitigation Bank, located in McMinn County, Tennessee.  The proposed stream impacts are within the primary service area of this mitigation bank.

To compensate for unavoidable permanent impacts to 1.966 acres of wetland, the applicant proposes debiting, at a 2:1 ratio, 3.932 advanced wetland mitigation credits in the Southeast Tennessee Service Area, from the Tennessee Mitigation Fund (TMF) In-Lieu Fee (ILF) Program; the proposed wetland impacts are located within this ILF service area.

PUBLIC INTEREST REVIEW/CUMULATIVE EFFECTS:  The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts including cumulative impacts of the activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the work, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors, which may be relevant to the work, will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shore erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. In addition, the evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, under authority of Section 404(b)(1) of the CWA(40 CFR Part 230).

SOLICITATION OF COMMENTS:  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is soliciting comments from the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of the proposed road improvement and widening project.  Any comments received will be considered by the USACE to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal.  To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above.  Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to NEPA.  Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.  An EA will be prepared by this office prior to a final decision concerning issuance or denial of the requested DA Permit.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:  TDOT, acting on behalf of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has been identified as the lead agency for complying with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  A Phase I Archaeological Survey was completed in July 2001, which investigated three archaeological sites within the project area of this proposal, and these sites were recommended ineligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).  TDOT submitted the findings of this report to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) on July 17, 2001, indicating that no NRHP listed or eligible archaeological properties would be affected by this proposal.  The SHPO concurred with TDOT's findings on August 24, 2006, indicating “we find that the project area contains no archaeological resources eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.”

A historic properties assessment was conducted for this project with report dated April 2001, a historic structures survey report addendum was completed in August 2002, and a historic properties architectural assessment update was completed by TDOT in February 2013.  The 2013 update identified three properties within the area of potential effects of this proposal; these properties were recommended ineligible for listing in the NRHP.  On April 5, 2013, TDOT submitted the findings of these reports to the SHPO, indicating that there are no historic properties that would be affected by the proposed project.  The SHPO concurred with this finding on May 8, 2013, indicating “we find that the area of potential effect contains no architectural resources eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places affected by this undertaking.”

USACE invites responses to this public notice from Native American Tribes or tribal governments; federal, state, and local agencies; historical and archeological societies; and other parties likely to have knowledge of or concerns regarding historic properties and sites of religious and cultural significance at or near the project area.  Any substantive comments from this public notice will be provided to TDOT, for consideration of potential effects to historic and cultural resources for Section 106 compliance.  If TDOT determines that consultation is required, TDOT would consult with the Tennessee Historic Commission (SHPO) and Native American Tribes in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as appropriate.  TDOT is required to submit all applicable Section 106 documentation to USACE prior to final permit decision.

ENDANGERED/THREATENED SPECIES REVIEW:  TDOT, acting on behalf of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has been identified as the lead agency for conducting environmental review under Section 7 of the ESA.  TDOT completed an Endangered Species Act (ESA) records review, by searching the TDEC Division of Natural Areas, Endangered Species Database, on May 13, 2019.  Additionally, the applicant conducted ESA field reviews in November 2016.  Accordingly, effects determinations were made by the applicant for each species.  The field review, records review, and accompanying effects determinations provide documentation of the potential effects of the project on endangered and threatened federally listed species within the action area.  Listed species potentially located
within a four-mile radius of the project site include:

 

Species Nomenclature

Federal Status

Mammals

 

Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis)

Endangered

Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis)

Threatened

There is no critical habitat designated within the project area.

The above described ESA documentation was provided to the USFWS for consultation.  In order to determine the presence of bats, a mist netting survey was performed between June 22 through 25, 2016, at eight sites along the project corridor.  Efforts resulted in the capture of three eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis); no other bat species were documented.  The survey information was provided to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on September 19, 2016.  On October 4, 2016, the USFWS concurred with TDOT’s determination of “not likely to adversely affect” for the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat (NLEB) based on the negative survey results.  Based upon the age of the previous documentation, TDOT re-coordinated with the USFWS via letter on January 10, 2019.  On February 4, 2019 the UFWS responded “we concur with TDOT’s determination of ‘not likely to adversely affect’ the Indiana bat and NLEB.  The referenced bat survey is valid
until April 1, 2022.”  The USFWS also wrote “based on the best information available at this time, we believe that the requirements of section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as amended, are fulfilled for all species that currently receive protection under the Act.”

OTHER APPROVALS:  Before a permit may be issued, water quality certification must be provided by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) pursuant to Section 401(a)(1) of the CWA (33 U.S.C. 1341), that applicable water quality standards will not be violated.  Other federal, state, and/or local approvals may be required for the proposed work.

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the designated comment period of the notice and must state the specific reasons for requesting the public hearing.

COMMENT PERIOD:  Written statements received in this office within 30 days from the date of this notice will become a part of the administrative record and will be considered in the determination.  Any response to this notice should be directed to William Worrall, Nashville District Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Division, at the above address, at 615-369-7513, or via email: william.e.worrall@usace.army.mil.

//signed//

Joshua W. Frost
Chief, Technical Services Branch
Regulatory Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers