The Maine Department of Transportation is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, to conduct work in waters of the United States in conjunction with replacing the Route 129 Bridge in South Bristol, Maine.
The Maine Department of Transportation proposes to place fill material below the high tide line and perform other work beyond the mean high water line of “The Gut” in South Bristol in order to facilitate the replacement of the existing deteriorated Route 129 Bridge. Approximately 8,177 square feet of intertidal and subtidal substrate will be filled. The proposed work is designed to replace critical transportation infrastructure, ensure public safety, and protect the economic vitality of Maine’s transportation network.
In anticipation of unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources, the permit applicant is proposing compensatory mitigation for the project’s unavoidable wetland impacts by applying funds toward Maine’s Natural Resources Conservation Fund (In Lieu Fee Program). The applicant is proposing this measure seeking to lessen the project’s unavoidable impacts.
The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in United States waters, including wetlands; and with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any work in, or affecting navigable waters of the United States.
The proposed project will potentially impact up to 8,177 square feet of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. The Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect will not be substantial. Further consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding Essential Fish Habitat conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.
Press Release, January 6, 2014