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Public Notice Information

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SWL 2023-00299

Published Jan. 29, 2024
Expiration date: 2/23/2024

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:  Comments are invited on the work described below.  Please see the Public Involvement section for details on submitting comments.

Point of Contact.  If additional information is desired, please contact the regulator, John Bridgeman, telephone number:  (501) 340-1387, mailing address:  Little Rock District Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Division, PO Box 867, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-0867, email address:

Project Information.  Pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S. Code 1344), notice is hereby given that

Mr. David Hopkins, PE
City of Little Rock, Arkansas
7001 West Markham
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

has requested authorization for work, including the placement of dredged and fill material, in waters of the United States associated with drainage improvements of approximately 964 linear feet of an unnamed tributary of the Arkansas River (locally referenced as State Capitol Drain). Total impacts to waters of the United States include approximately 964 linear feet (~0.69 acres) of stream impacts. The proposed project is located in the residential area along 4th Street near the intersections with Valentine Street and Valmar Street in the State Capitol Drain, in the NE 1/4 of section 5, T. 1 N., R. 12 W., Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas.

The project purpose is to improve drainage in this area by aiding in the prevention roadway overtopping and flooding of properties during storm events.

The applicant proposes to lower the grade of 4th Street to provide an overflow path to Valmar Street and rerouting the current underground reach of State Capitol Drain into a new culvert and open concrete channel with a greater flow capacity. These improvements include the abandoning and filling of approximately 151 linear feet of the existing 10-foot-wide by 3-foot-tall reinforced box culvert (RBC), removing approximately 341 linear feet of the existing RBC. The city then proposes to install 400 linear feet of double 12-foot-wide by 4-foot-tall precast concrete box culverts. Additional proposed improvements include armoring with riprap for 32 linear feet and concrete lining for 20 linear feet the streambank of State Capitol Drain near the culvert inflow and concrete lining the stream for 221 linear feet at the culvert outlet.

The existing project area consists of an urban, channelized, intermittent stream channel that flows through an existing residential neighborhood and crosses under South Valentine, 4th Street, Valmar Street, and West Capitol Avenue. The channel has an average width of approximately 8 to 10 feet with an ordinary high water mark height of approximately 6 to 12 inches above the channel bottom. Channel substrate consists primarily of gravel and cobble substrate. Currently, the portions of the channel have been channelized with block and concrete from past attempts to reduce flooding. Four alternatives were considered for the purposes of improving drainage and flooding issues.

Alternative A: This is the applicant’s preferred alternative which proposes to replace the existing culvert with a new double 26.5-foot-wide span by 4-foot-tall concrete box culvert routed through the residential properties located in the area bounded by West 4th Street, South Valentine Street, West Capitol Avenue, and Valmar Street. The proposed culvert would route State Capitol Drain underneath the Plateau Street, South Valentine Street, and 4th Street intersection and flow underneath West 4th Street for approximately 86 feet before flowing generally southeast. The culvert would become open channel from the point of flowing out from West 4th Street to the point of flowing under Valmar Street. The total length of new culvert would be 294 linear feet. Alternative A also proposes to line 221 linear feet of the existing channel that flows between Valmar Street to West Capitol Avenue with concrete. Additionally, the stream bank near the proposed culvert inlet along Plateau Street would be armored with riprap and 20 linear feet of stream bed would be filled to construct a concrete transition. The existing undersized culvert would be removed where feasible and filled in all other locations.

Alternative B: This alternative proposes to install a double 12-foot-wide span by 4-foot-tall reinforced concrete box culvert along West 4th Street from Valentine Street to Valmar Street. At the intersection of West 4th Street and Valmar Street, the culvert angles at 90-degrees to follow Valmar Street to the location at which the existing culvert discharges into an open channel. The existing storm sewer under the homes would remain in commission and be tied into the proposed storm sewer. Alternative B proposes the same impacts to State Capitol Drain as Alternative A.

Alternative C: This alternative proposes the same improvements described in Alternative A but proposes the installation of a bottomless culvert along State Capitol Drain between Valmar Street and West Capitol Avenue instead of concrete lining the channel. Alternative C would preserve the stream bed and path. No relocations would be necessary to complete the alternative.

Alternative D: This alternative is a no build.

The applicant proposes to purchase stream mitigation credits from a USACE approved mitigation bank that services the area to offset the approximately 273 linear feet (0.06-acre) of new stream impacts due to this project proposal.

The location and general plan for the proposed work are shown on the enclosed sheets.

Water Quality Certification. The Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 Certification Rule (Certification Rule, 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121), effective September 11, 2020, requires certification for any license or permit that authorizes an activity that may result in a discharge. The scope of a CWA Section 401 certification is limited to assuring that a discharge from a Federally licensed or permitted activity will comply with water quality requirements. The applicant is responsible for requesting certification and providing required information to the certifying agency. As of the date of this public notice, the applicant has not submitted a certification request to the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment, Division of Environmental Quality (certifying authority). In accordance with Certification Rule Part 121.6, once the applicant submits a certification request the Corps will determine the reasonable period of time for the certifying agency to act upon the certification and provide written notification. In accordance with Certification Rule Part 121.12, the Corps will notify the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator when it has received the subject certification. The Administrator is responsible for determining if the discharge may affect water quality in a neighboring jurisdiction. The DA permit may not be issued pending the conclusion of the Administrator’s determination of effects on neighboring jurisdictions.

Cultural Resources. A Corps staff archeologist will evaluate the proposal for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, including identification and evaluation of cultural resources potentially impacted by the proposal's implementation in waters of the United States. The District Engineer invites responses to this public notice from Native American Nations or tribal governments; Federal, State, and local agencies; historical and archeological societies; and other parties likely to have knowledge of or concerns with historic properties in the area.

Endangered Species. Our preliminary determination is that the proposed activity will not affect listed Endangered Species or their critical habitat. A copy of this notice is being furnished to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and appropriate state agencies and constitutes a request to those agencies for information on whether any listed or proposed‑to‑be‑listed endangered or threatened species may be present in the area which would be affected by the proposed activity.

Floodplain. We are providing copies of this notice to appropriate floodplain officials in accordance with 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 60 (Floodplain Management Regulations Criteria for Land Management and Use) and Executive Order 11988 on Floodplain Management.

Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines. The evaluation of activities to be authorized under this permit, which involves the discharge of dredged or fill material will include application of guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act. These guidelines are contained in 40 Code of Federal CFR 230.

Public Involvement. Any interested party is invited to submit to the above-listed POC written comments or objections relative to the proposed work on or before February 23, 2024.  Substantive comments, both favorable and unfavorable, will be accepted and made a part of the record and will receive full consideration in determining whether this work would be in the public interest. The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed 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 proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal 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, considerations of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

The Corps of Engineers 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 of Engineers 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 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.

Any person may request in writing within the comment period specified in this notice that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for public hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing. The District Engineer will determine if the issues raised are substantial and whether a hearing is needed for making a decision.

NOTE: The mailing list for this Public Notice is arranged by state and county(s) where the project is located and includes any addressees who have asked to receive copies of all public notices. Please discard notices that are not of interest to you. If you have no need for any of these notices, please advise us so that your name can be removed from the mailing list.


Approximate Coordinates of Project Center

Latitude:  34.748155               Longitude:  -92.312432

UTM Zone:  15N                    North:  3845330.23     East:  562933.88