Comments Period: September 19, 2017 – October 19, 2017
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the SR 68; I-215 to Center St. project, which would result in direct impacts to approximately 2.24 acres of waters of the United States, including 1.47 acres of wetlands and 0.77 acre/736 linear feet of non-wetland waters (perennial canals), in or adjacent to the North Canyon Canal, the Salt Lake Canal, and the Oil Drain Canal. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.
AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States.
APPLICANT: Utah Department of Transportation, Region 1, Attn: Mr. Brett Slater, 166 Southwell St., Ogden, Utah 84404-4194
LOCATION: The approximately 90-acre project site is located within UDOT right-of-way from just south of the I-215 interchange with Redwood Road to just beyond the intersection of Redwood Road and Center Street, Latitude 40.8350°, Longitude -111.9359°, North Salt Lake, Davis County, Utah., and can be seen on the Salt Lake City North USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to reconstruct State Road (SR) 68/Redwood Road from its interchange with I-215 to Center Street (SR-68, MP 63.65 to 64.37) to create a five lane (approximately 111 ft. wide with two lanes in each direction and one center turn lane) road with standard shoulders, curb and gutters, and a sidewalk on the east side of SR-68. To accommodate its purpose, the project will also improve the SR-68/I-215 interchange by constructing a more efficient diverging diamond interchange, which requires a new/separate bridge structure situated to the east of the existing structure. On and off ramps, turn lanes, and signal lighting improvements will also be necessary at the interchange. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to address safety, improve mobility, and improve the future projected Level of Service (LOS) and traffic operations. The applicant believes there is a need to improve the LOS to accommodate better traffic flow, reduce congestion, and accommodate bicycles and pedestrians. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. The project area consists of approximately 90 acres located north of I-215 and west of I-15 in the City of North Salt Lake, which is located in southwest Davis County. The site is characterized by the existing Redwood Road and Interstate-215 infrastructure, with primarily commercial and industrial land uses with office buildings and a gas station along SR-68. The interchange is heavily-trafficked, with many semi-trucks travelling along the interchange. The vegetated area within the interchange is mainly remnant saline wet meadow and revegetated right-of-way. The topography of the project area is generally flat, with exceptions being the existing interchange infrastructure. The area is heavily disturbed, and the saline meadow wetlands receive stormwater runoff from the existing highway. There are approximately 9.25 acres of waters of the United States (WOUS) within the project area, consisting of 4.02 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands (including saline wet meadows), 5.16 acres of perennial canals, and 0.07 acre of ephemeral ditch.
Alternatives. The applicant has not provided information concerning project alternatives. Additional information concerning project alternatives may be available from the applicant or their agent. Other alternatives may develop during the review process for this permit application. All reasonable project alternatives, in particular those which may be less damaging to the aquatic environment, will be considered.
Mitigation. The Corps requires that applicants consider and use all reasonable and practical measures to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources. If the applicant is unable to avoid or minimize all impacts, the Corps may require compensatory mitigation.
Redwood Road is in a highly commercial, industrial area currently being served by a high-volume 4-lane road. Maintenance of service to these commercial businesses and industrial sites and access to I-215 remains a high priority for the applicant while meeting the purpose and need of the project. The applicant evaluated various interchange concepts and concluded that constructing a diverging diamond interchange on SR-68 over I-215 would be best for the overall project goal of reducing construction cost, schedule, and traffic delays to the public during construction. Project design modifications that will be implemented in order to avoid and minimize impacts to WOUS include targeting of roadway widening areas away from WOUS, locating the new highway structure as close as possible to the existing structure, re-use of the existing highway structure instead of siting a second new structure, and minimizing roadway shoulders and reducing side slopes to the least-impactful cross-section while still meeting AASTHO clear zone design standards. The Corps will be evaluating the project to determine if additional avoidance and minimization measures are available as part of our project review.
The applicant has proposed to compensate for the permanent loss of 1.47 acres of wetlands via the purchase of mitigation bank credits.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification. Projects are usually certified where the project may create diffuse sources (non-point sources) of wastes which will occur only during the actual construction activity and where best management practices would be employed to minimize pollution effects. Written comments on water quality certification should be submitted to Mr. Bill Damery, Utah Division of Water Quality, P.O. Box 144870, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4870, or email email@example.com within 30 days of the beginning of this public notice period.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information (including applicant's report titled “Cultural and Paleo Clearance with Tier 1 Screening Form”), six cultural resources were identified within the project's Area of Potential Effects (APE), three of which are recommended eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. However, it is expected that the construction will avoid all sites within the Corps APE. Therefore, it appears no historic properties would be affected by the proposed project. The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office, as appropriate.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: No Federally-listed threatened or endangered species habitat occurs within the project area. As such, the project would not affect any Federally-listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat that are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: No Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) exists within the project area. As such, the proposed project would not adversely affect EFH as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
The above determinations are based on information provided by the applicant and our preliminary review.
EVALUATION FACTORS: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the described 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 described activity, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the described activity will be considered, including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. The activity's impact on the public interest will include application of the Section 404(b)(1) guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 230).
The Corps 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 this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps 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 other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.
SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK-2017-00621-UO must be submitted to the office listed below on or before October 19, 2017.
Matt Wilson, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Bountiful Regulatory Office
533 West 2600 South, Suite 150
Bountiful, Utah 84010-7744
The Corps is particularly interested in receiving comments related to the proposal's probable impacts on the affected aquatic environment and the secondary and cumulative effects. Anyone may request, in writing, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests shall specifically state, with particularity, the reason(s) for holding a public hearing. If the Corps determines that the information received in response to this notice is inadequate for thorough evaluation, a public hearing may be warranted. If a public hearing is warranted, interested parties will be notified of the time, date, and location. Please note that all comment letters received are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act. If you have questions or need additional information please contact the applicant or the Corps' project manager Matt Wilson, (801) 295-8380 X 11, Matthew.S.Wilson@usace.army.mil.
Attachment: September 13, 2017 Project Drawings