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Public Notice Information

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NOTE: Due to budget cuts and escalating costs in processing and mailing of these public notices, we are requiring email addresses and internet access.  Only under special circumstances will we send copies of the public notices via the U. S. Postal Service.

The Public Notices are available in two electronic formats. To read the Public Notice text only (html format), click on the Public Notice number.  To view a Public Notice with its drawings, click on the Public Notice link in the attachments box. (*pdf format).

MVM 2016-00011

Published Jan. 8, 2016
Expiration date: 2/2/2016

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, Mr. 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

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

has requested authorization for the placement of dredged and fill material in waters of the United States associated with replacing four bridges and widening the approaches on State Highway 14, and constructing a boat ramp on the Cache River.  The proposed project is located on State Highway 14 immediately west of the City of Amagon in sections 19, 20, 29 and 30, T. 11 N., R. 1 W., and in sections 24 and 25, T. 11 N., R. 2 W., Jackson County, Arkansas.

The basic purpose of the project is to upgrade 1.8 miles of State Highway 14 and replace four structurally deficient bridges.  The overall purpose of the project is to upgrade the roadway and make it safer for motor vehicle traffic in the Jackson County area.  The project is not water dependent.

The proposed project would construct the two western bridges (Cache River and Cache River Relief 1) on new alignment approximately 50 feet downstream from the existing bridges.  The project would construct the two eastern bridges (Cache River Relief 3 and Cache River Relief 4) on existing location and construct temporary detour roads approximately 50 feet downstream from the existing bridges.  Temporary work roads would be required at all four bridge locations to facilitate demolition and construction.  The existing roadway consists of two 12-foot-wide travel lanes with 4-foot-wide shoulders.  The proposed roadway would consist of two 12-foot-wide travel lanes with 8-foot-wide shoulders.  An Arkansas Game and Fish Commission boat ramp would be constructed on the north side of the new Cache River Bridge and within the AHTD right-of-way.  The boat ramp would consist of a 16-foot-wide by 150-foot-long corrugated, concrete ramp with a 60-foot-wide by 80-foot-long parking lot.  The construction would discharge approximately 79,000 cubic yards of permanent fill and 40,000 cubic yards of temporary fill into the Cache River, the three relief channels and the adjacent wetlands.  Approximately 15.1 acres of wetlands would be permanently impacted and approximately 4.5 acres of wetlands would be temporarily impacted.  Impacts to the Cache River and the three relief channels would be approximately 0.8 acres.  The majority of these impacts would be temporary and the result of detour road and work road construction.  The boat ramp would impact less than 0.1 acres of the Cache River channel.

The proposed project is located in the Mississippi Alluvial Plains Ecoregion.  Land use within the project area is dominated by row crop agricultural land.  Forested tracts are limited to areas within the floodplain that are too low to be farmed.  The Cache River is a perennial stream that flows into the White River approximately 75 miles to the south near the City of Clarendon.  All of the relief channels flow intermittently and into the Cache River within a mile of the project location. The majority (13.8 acres) of impacted wetlands are slightly impaired or fully functional scrub/shrub wetlands.  These wetlands are dominated by black willow (Salix nigra), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), coffee bean (Sesbania herbacea), swamp privet (Forestiera acuminata), and several species of smartweed (Persicaria sp.).  The remaining impacted wetlands (5.8 acres) are bottomland hardwoods dominated by black willow and honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos).

The Federal Highway Administration approved this project as a categorical exclusion (CE) on April 27, 2015.  There are no relocatees, environmental justice issues, cultural resources, or prime farmlands associated with the project.  The project lies within the current known range of the Federally endangered Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) and Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis).  The AHTD will prohibit clearing activities during the active period of the bats in Arkansas from April 1 to October 15, or a professional biologist will perform a habitat assessment to ensure that no Northern Long-eared Bats or Indiana Bats are present prior to any clearing activities.  The project lies within Zone A-Special Flood Hazard Area, as designated by the National Flood Insurance Program, and shown on Panels 250 and 275 of the Jackson County Flood Insurance Rate Map.  The AHTD has determined that the project will not support incompatible use and development of the flood plain and adjacent properties should not be impacted nor have a greater flood risk than existed before construction of the project.  The least environmentally damaging most practicable alignment for the project was selected. An attempt was made to design the project to maintain the flow of traffic during construction while minimizing impacts to the wetlands and the City of Amagon.  Wetlands line both sides of the highway at this location; therefore, complete avoidance was not possible.  Constructing the entire project on new location would impact more than 19.6 acres of wetlands.  Shifting the alignment on the two western bridges was more practical since temporary detour bridges would have been required to pass high flows.  Temporary detour roads rather than detour bridges on the two eastern bridges were more practical since they would minimize impacts to wetlands and the City of Amagon.  The AHTD proposes to mitigate for the unavoidable impacts to 19.6 acres of wetlands with 206.4 credits (59 acres) at their Glaise Creek Mitigation Bank which is located near Worden, Arkansas.

The location and general plan for the proposed work are shown on the enclosed sheets 1 through 9 of 11.

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.  The AHTD staff archeologists have reviewed topographic maps, the National Register of Historic Places, and other data on reported sites in the area.  The Federal Highway Administration has completed coordination with all associated Native American Nations and tribal governments.  The District Engineer invites responses to this public notice from 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.  The project lies within the current known range of the Federally endangered Northern Long-eared Bat and Indiana Bat.  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 other 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 February 2, 2016.  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:  35.563035   Longitude:  -91.140628

UTM Zone:  15   North:  3937075   East:  668510