Comments Period: April 24, 2019 – May 24, 2019
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the SR-30 Road Expansion project, which would result in impacts to approximately 18.52 acres and 3,689.6 linear feet of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in or adjacent to Cutler Reservoir. 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, Attn: Mr. Dave Adamson, 166 West Southwell Street, Ogden, Utah 84404
LOCATION: The approximately 6.7 mile long or 745 acre project is located along the existing alignment of SR-30 from 100 West in Logan City to SR-23: western end Latitude 41.75075°, Longitude -111.97942°; eastern end 41.73567, -111.85981, Cache County, Utah.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: State Route 30 is the only east-west route that functions as a primary arterial in Cache Valley, which provides a critical connection to other major transportation routes throughout the region. Currently, SR-30 mobility is limited, the road experiences increased traffic congestion during peak travel periods, and lacks roadway elements (shoulders, turn lanes, and curves) that meet current federal and state design standards for safety. Also, SR-30 cannot adequately accommodate the high volume of freight trucks and has above-average accident rates and a high frequency of rollover accidents. To resolve these issues, the applicant is proposing to expand SR-30 between SR-23 and 1000 West in Logan City. The proposed project consists of a combination of four-, three-, and two-travel-lane segments.
The segment from 1900 West to SR-23 would consist of the following:
• A center 14-foot median for the entire length;
• Three 12-foot travel lanes (two westbound lanes, one eastbound lane) from 1900 West to just west of 3200 West;
• Four 12-foot travel lanes from milepost 103.3 to SR-23 and the realignment of the Wellsville-Mendon Canal near milepost 103.3;
• Two 12-foot travel lanes from just west of 3200 West to milepost 103.3;
• Reconstruct an unnamed drainage to Cutler Reservoir that passes under SR-30;
• Reconstruct the PacifiCorp Lower Logan River Access recreation access site; and
• Improvements to the SR-30 and SR-23 intersection.
The segment from the SR-30-1000 West intersection to 1900 West would consist of the following:
• Four 12-foot travel lanes with a 14 foot wide center turn median; 12-foot wide shoulders; and curb, gutter, and sidewalk; and
• Improvements to the SR-30 and 1000 West intersection including single left and right turn lanes onto 1000 West.
Included in this project would be a separate bike path and the reconstruction of a drainage ditch along most of the alignment. The section within Logan City near 1000 West would have a sidewalk. Overall approximately 12.24 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands, 0.01 acre of palustrine scrub-shrub wetlands, 0.62 acre (3,689.6 linear feet) of irrigation ditch, and 5.68 acres of open water would be unavoidably filled by road base for the SR-30 highway improvements and separate pedestrian and bike lane, drainage improvements and realignments, and extended pipe culverts.
Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to meet projected traffic demands and to improve public safety. The applicant believes there is a need to expand SR-30. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. The 745 acre project area contains approximately 180 acres of palustrine emergent wetland, 5.8 acres of palustrine scrub-shrub wetland, 6.5 acres of wetland ditch (palustrine emergent), 6.4 acres of non-wetland irrigation ditch, and 72.5 acres of non-wetland open water. This project corridor consists mainly of agricultural lands used for grazing and cultivating hay and food crops. Vegetation communities observed in the project corridor include weedy uplands, scrub-shrub wetlands, emergent wetlands, monoculture agricultural grass areas, and a few small areas of mature trees. Soils within the project corridor range from loam, to silt loam, to silty clay loam, to silty clay. Several surface waters—including the Logan River, Little Bear River, and numerous irrigation ditches and canals—cross through the project corridor. The area known as Cutler Marsh, where SR-30 crosses the Logan River and Little Bear River, is inundated by water from Cutler Reservoir.
Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning project alternatives. Additional information concerning project alternatives can be found at https://www.sr30study.com. 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. The applicant is evaluating two potential mitigation sites known as the Kunzler and the Harris properties.
The Kunzler property is comprised of three parcels, totaling 33.24 acres, situated on the north side of the Logan River between 1000 West and 600 West in Logan, Utah. The Harris property is comprised of two parcels, totaling 87.84 acres, on the east side of the Cub River and north of State Route 142 (SR-142) in Richmond, Utah. A conceptual mitigation plan has been prepared for the Kunzler property, since it is the preferred mitigation site.
The applicant is proposing a combination of restoration and enhancement at the Kunzler property. This would be accomplished through modifying the surface hydrology by installing drainage plugs and control structures to spread water into excavated areas and existing wetland areas. Several existing upland areas would be excavated to intercept the near-surface, high water table and would be restored to wetlands. Existing wetlands would be enhanced through a combination of surface hydrology improvements and connections, and conversion of nonnative vegetation to native vegetation. Invasive crack willow would be removed from areas of open water and from along the north bank of the Logan River. The applicant believes this would result in a net gain of overall wetland functions compared to the project wetland impacts.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Utah Division of Water 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. A person who wishes to challenge such certification may only raise an issue or argument during an adjudicatory proceeding that is raised during the public comment period and is supported with sufficient information or documentation to enable the Director to fully consider the substance and significance of the issue. Utah Code Ann. 19-1-301.5 can be viewed at the following URL: https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title19/Chapter1/19-1-S301.5.html. Written comments specific to the Section 401 Water Quality Certification relative to this public notice should be submitted to Leanna Littler, Utah Division of Water Quality, P.O. Box 144870, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4870, or firstname.lastname@example.org on or before April 24, 2018.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: UDOT, acting on behalf of the Federal Highways Administration, is lead federal agency responsible for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The Corps will act as cooperating agency and will adopt determinations, as appropriate.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: UDOT, acting on behalf of the Federal Highways Administration, is lead federal agency responsible for compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The Corps will act as cooperating agency and will adopt determinations, as appropriate. UDOT has indicated the project is not likely to adversely affect any Federally-listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat that are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project would not adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The Corps will initiate consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as appropriate.
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-2016-00777 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before May 24, 2019.
Hollis Jencks, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Bountiful Regulatory Office
533 West 2600 South, Suite 150
Bountiful, Utah 84010
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 Hollis Jencks, (801) 295-8380 X 8318, Hollis.G.Jencks@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 20 drawings