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Public Notice Information

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SWL 2014-00270

Published Aug. 11, 2014
Expiration date: 9/5/2014

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 project manager, Johnny McLean, telephone number:  (501) 324-5295, 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 the

                                        Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD)
PO Box 2261
ittle Rock, Arkansas  72203

has requested authorization for the placement of dredged and fill material in waters of the United States associated with widening U.S. Highway 63, replacing the bridges over the Spring River, Trace Creek and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, and extending the box culverts in Long Run Hollow and an unnamed tributary.  The proposed project is located adjacent to and over the Spring River at Mammoth Spring, in sections 8 and 16, T. 21 N., R. 5 W., Fulton County, Arkansas.  Total length of the project is approximately 1.9 miles.

The basic purpose of the project is to upgrade the roadway for additional capacity and safety.  The overall purpose of the project is to widen the existing roadway and replace three structurally deficient bridges in the Mammoth Spring area.  The bridges are water dependent.

The proposed project would widen the existing two-lane roadway to four 12-foot-wide travel lanes with an 11-foot-wide median and 8-foot-wide shoulders.  The three bridges will be replaced on existing alignment utilizing staged construction techniques.  Construction would permanently impact approximately 2.3 acres of wetlands through widening the roadway between the Trace Creek Bridge and extending the box culvert at Long Run Hollow.  In addition to wetland impacts, approximately 1,430 linear feet of streams would be relocated.  This includes 1,030 feet of Trace Creek, and 400 feet of an unnamed tributary to Trace Creek.  Construction of the Trace Creek Bridge would require the discharge of 395 cubic yards of permanent fill and 1,440 cubic yards of temporary fill, and 440 cubic yards of excavation.  Two bridge bents would be constructed in Trace Creek.  Construction of the Spring River Bridge would require the discharge of 180 cubic yards of permanent fill and 1,000 cubic yards of temporary fill, and 520 cubic yards of excavation.  Four bridge bents would be constructed in the Spring River.  Constructing  bridges over Trace Creek and the Spring River would require temporary work roads in both streams.

The Spring River and associated tributaries are Extraordinary Resource Waters and Ecologically Sensitive Waterbodies; therefore, the proposed project will require Section 401 individual water quality certification from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.  Mammoth Spring is the tenth largest spring in the world and discharges approximately 9 million gallons of water per hour.  The Spring River flows for approximately 57 miles and empties into the Black River near Black Rock.  Trace Creek is a moderately functional perennial stream which parallels U.S. Highway 63 and flows westerly to its confluence with the Spring River.  Long Run Hollow is an intermittent stream that is moderately functional and also flows into the Spring River.  Three wetlands were delineated within the project area.  Wetland Nos. 1 and 2 are located adjacent to Long Run Hollow.  Wetland No. 1 is a herbaceous wetland located within a maintained utility right-of-way.  It is dominated by cattails, swamp smartweed, bulrush and arrowhead, with sycamore and black willow trees on the margins.  Wetland No. 2 is a forested wetland dominated by green ash, sycamore, black willow and American Elm.  Wetland No. 3 is located adjacent to Trace Creek and the dominant vegetation is box elder, green ash, lizard tail and smartweed.  Wetland No. 1 is partially impaired; Wetland Nos. 2 and 3 are fully functional.

The least damaging most practicable alternative for this project was selected.  Minimization was accomplished by designing the bridges on existing alignment.  The remainder of the project was also designed on existing alignment except for minor modifications on the north and south ends of the job where two curves were modified.  Mitigation requirements were assessed utilizing the Little Rock District Stream Method for streams and the 2002 Charleston Method for wetlands.  These methods determined that 7,499 stream credits and 29.85 wetland credits would be required to offset the unavoidable impacts for this project.  There are currently no mitigation banks or areas that service the Spring River watershed (hydrologic unit code 11010010).  The AHTD proposes to develop a mitigation bank or mitigation area in either the Spring River, Strawberry River or Eleven Point River watersheds to provide compensatory mitigation for this project.

The location and general plan for the proposed work are shown on the enclosed sheets 1 through 10 of 10.

Water Quality Certification.  By copy of this public notice, the applicant is requesting water quality certification from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) in accordance with Section 401(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act.  Upon completion of the comment period and a public hearing, if held, a determination relative to water quality certification will be made.  Evidence of this water quality certification or waiver of the right to certify must be submitted prior to the issuance of a Corps of Engineers permit.

Cultural Resources.  A Corps staff archeologist will review topographic maps, the National Register of Historic Places, and other data on reported sites in the area.  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.

Flood Plain.  We are providing copies of this notice to appropriate flood plain officials in accordance with 44 CFR Part 60 (Flood Plain Management Regulations Criteria for Land Management and Use) and Executive Order 11988 on Flood Plain 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 Regulations (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 September 5, 2014.  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, flood plain 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 also 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:  36.481144          Longitude:  -91.522001

UTM Zone:  15     Northing:  4038332      Easting:  632399