Comment Period: March 19, 2021 – April 18, 2021
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application for the discharge dredged or fill material in approximately 5.8 acres of waters of the United States to construct the UDOT SR-193 extension project. 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: UDOT, Attn: Mr. Rex Harris, 166 West Southwell Street, Ogden, Utah, 84404.
LOCATION: The approximately 1.6-mile long project site is located between 4500 West to 3000 West with the eastern end located at Latitude: 41.110833 Longitude: -112.083611 and the western end located at Latitude: 41.107500 Longitude: -112.103056, Davis County, Utah (Enclosure 1), and can be seen on the Clearfield USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to discharge fill material into waters to extend SR-193 from its current terminus at 3000 West approximately 1.6 miles to 4500 West (SR-110), including an at-grade intersection with the WDC Highway. This extension is being constructed to alleviate traffic in local roads and improve connectivity in the area. The project would result in the permanent direct loss of approximately 5.8 acres of aquatic resources including the loss of 5.14 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands and temporary impacts to 0.66 acre palustrine emergent wetlands. Indirect losses resulting from this project have not yet been determined.
The project includes a four-lane divided highway between 3000 West and the WDC (Enclosure 2, Figure 1). This portion of SR-193 would have a 150-foot-wide right of way and would be constructed entirely on uplands. This section of road would not result in a discharge of fill material in waters.
The area between the WDC and 4500 West (Enclosure 2, Figure 2) would include a three-lane road with an 84-foot wide right-of-way. This section of road would result in the loss of 3.45 acres of wetlands and temporary impacts to 0.66 acre of wetlands. The temporary impact areas would be restored to pre-project conditions. This segment would consist of one 12-foot-wide travel lane in each direction; a 14-foot continuous center turn lane median, and curb, gutter, park strip, and sidewalk on each side (Enclosure 3, Cross Sections A and B).
The project would also incorporate a detention basin located west of the WDC and north of 700 South (Enclosure 3, Cross Section C). The location of the detention basin is a result of collaboration with local municipalities and Davis County during the development of both the WDC and the SR-193 design plans. As the lowest point adjacent to the WDC, this basin would capture stormwater flowing east to west from SR-193 (east segment only) and the WDC through a series of roadside ditches and pipes. The detention basin would be 50-feet wide, approximately 900-feet long, and be excavated approximately 2 to 3 feet below the existing ground surface resulting in the loss of 1.69 acres of wetlands.
Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to improve local east/west connectivity to existing regional routes such as I-15, and future routes such as the WDC. The applicant believes there is a need to reduce traffic congestion on local roads and improve travel times for the design year, 2050. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. The western terminus of the project area is approximately 0.8 miles east of Great Salt Lake. The project site is 51-acres and is bisected by the WDC alignment. For this reason, some of the wetland impacts included in this project were delineated in 2017 as part of the WDC project. Wetlands outside of the WDC alignment were delineated in 2019 resulting in an additional 1.45 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands identified within the project area (Enclosure 4).
The palustrine emergent wetland habitat is dominated by common spikerush (Eleocharis palustris), clustered field sedge (Carex praegracilis), saltgrass (Distichlis spicata), and seaside barley (Hordeum marinum). The majority of the emergent wetlands are low areas utilized for livestock grazing that are sustained by groundwater seepage that is augmented by surface irrigation water. The land use adjacent to the project area is agricultural, consisting of cropland and pasture used for hay production and livestock grazing. In some areas adjacent to the project area, the agricultural lands are being converted to residential developments. There are also golf courses and parklands in the vicinity. This area of Davis County is experiencing high levels of residential development and population growth, and it is gradually becoming urbanized.
Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning project alternatives. Additional information concerning project alternatives may be available from the applicant or their agent.
Off-site and on-site alternatives were considered in the applicant’s permit application. Off-site alternatives presented include the evaluation an alignment of SR-196 at 600 South. The analysis identified this alternative to be in close proximity to an existent intersection that would connect to the WDC. This alternative may result in similar or greater impacts to aquatic resources than the proposed alternative.
Drainage options considered in lieu of the detention basin proposed north of 700 South included installing sheet flow/filter strips in the east segment of SR-193, relocating the detention pond to an upland area located east of WDC, and discharge into the existing ditch that parallels the north side of 700 South. Of these three alternatives, the installation of sheet flow/filter strips would require discharge of stormwater into private properties and the applicant has indicated that owners would not permit the discharge in their properties; locating the detention pond east of WDC in uplands is prohibited by an existing Bureau of Reclamation right-of-way; and the ditch that parallels 700 South is at maximum capacity and cannot accommodate additional volume from the WDC or SR-193 extension.
On-site alternatives included different conceptual designs to comply with road requirements. The road alignment has been modified to incorporate a reduced right of way footprint in the section of the proposed road where wetland impacts are concentrated. The roadway was reduced in size by eliminating a 26-foot-wide grass swale between travel lanes and condensing the roadway from a four-lane roadway with two travel lanes in each direction to a two-lane roadway with one travel lane in each direction separated by a 14-foot center turn lane.
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 has proposed to compensate all unavoidable impacts through the purchase of mitigation credits from the Machine Lake Mitigation Bank.
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, Division of Water Quality is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have not yet applied for certification.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information (including applicant's report titled “An Archaeological Resource Assessment for the SR-193 Extension; 450 West to 3000 West, Davis County, Utah” and “A Selective Reconnaissance-Level Historic Structures Inventory for the SR-193 Extension; 4500 West to 3000 West, Davis County, Utah”), there are potentially eligible cultural resources within the project area that may be affected by the proposed project. This project will be entirely state-funded, and the Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as appropriate.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: 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: The proposed project would not adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (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 2019 00865 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before April 18, 2021.
Nicole Fresard, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
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 Nicole Fresard, (801) 295-8380 ext. 8321, Nicole.D.Fresard@usace.army.mil.
Enclosure 1: Location Map
Enclosure 2: Travel Lane Cross Sections
Enclosure 3: Roadway Right-of-Way Width and Permanent Wetland Impacts Cross Sections
Enclosure 4: Wetlands Impacts Map