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SAJ-2018-01778(SP-MLC)

Published May 22, 2019
Expiration date: 6/22/2019

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:  The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received an application for a 20-year, Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:

 

APPLICANT:         Miami-Dade Expressway Authority

                               3790 NW 21 Street

                               Miami, FL 33142

 

WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States, including freshwater wetlands, associated with the Bird Drive and North Trail Wetland Basins.  The project site is located between the current terminus of State Road (SR)-836 and NW 137th Avenue and would extend south for approximately 14 miles and terminates at SW 136th St., near SW 157th Ave.

 

Directions to the site are as follows: 

The northern portion of the project site can be reached by traveling west on SR-836 to its terminus at NW 137th Avenue. Continue south on NW 137th Avenue for approximately 0.9 miles then make a right onto an unnamed dirt road (25.761524, 

-80.417369) to access the levee for the Tamiami (C-4) Canal.

The middle portion of the project site can be reached by traveling west on SR 836 to its terminus at NW 137th Avenue. Continue south on NW 137th Avenue then make a right onto US-41/SW 8th Street. Proceed approximately 2 miles west on SW 8th Street, then make a left onto SW 157th Avenue and travel south for approximately 2.7 miles to a dirt trail on the north side of SW 42nd Street. The project corridor crosses the dirt track approximately 1.2 miles west of NW 157th Avenue (25.727641, -80.467645).

The southern portion of the project site can be reached by traveling west on SR 836 to its terminus at NW 137th Avenue. Continue south on NW 137th Avenue then make a right onto US-41/SW 8th Street. Proceed approximately 4 miles west on SW 8th Street, then make a left onto SR 997 (Krome Avenue) and travel south for approximately 7.1 miles. Make a left at the median opening onto the C-1W/ Black Creek Trail and SW 112th Street access road to access the C-1W/ Black Creek Trail and SW 112th Street. The project corridor crosses the C-1W/ Black Creek Trail and SW 112th Street approximately 1.2 miles west of Krome Avenue (25.661633, -80.461917) and terminates at SW 136 St., near SW 157th Avenue.

 

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:          Latitude  25.727641°

                                                                                  Longitude -80.467645°

 

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic:  The basic project purpose is linear transportation.

Overall: The overall project purpose is linear transportation in Miami-Dade County, FL.  

 

EXISTING CONDITIONS:  The wetland system consists of a freshwater system.  The onsite vegetation consists of sawgrass/muhly prairie with Melaleuca components in the northern portion of the project site. South of theoretical SW 66th St, the project site is open farmland with wetland pockets until SW 136th St.  The existing area surrounding the project area consists of predominantly residential development to the east and to the west, undeveloped, predominantly wetland areas until Krome Avenue (SW 177th Ave).

 

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant seeks authorization to augment the infrastructure of an existing roadway system with the construction of a new expressway corridor by excavating 1,450 cubic yards of water of the United States and placing 7,500,000 cubic yards of fill for 350 acres of direct wetland impacts and 100 acres of secondary/indirect impacts.  

 

Specifically, the Kendall Parkway (SR 836/Dolphin Expressway Southwest Extension) is a proposed 14-mile tolled limited access facility that begins at the current terminus of SR 836/Dolphin Expressway at NW 137th Avenue near NW 12" Street and terminates at SW 136th Street near SW 157th Avenue. The proposed project is located in unincorporated Miami-Dade County. The project area is in the proximity of several neighborhoods, including Tamiami, Kendall West, The Hammocks, and Country Walk. This new highway will be a six-lane facility, three lanes in each direction from the current terminus at NW 137th Avenue to the interchange with SW 88th Street (Kendall Drive). South of this interchange, the facility will feature two lanes in each direction. The highway will feature between six and eight interchanges, where feasible, to allow the ingress and egress between the new facility and arterials crossings. Improvements to the arterials will be made at the approaches to the interchange connections where projected traffic volumes indicate a need. The facility will include Express Transits/Technology Lanes along the inside shoulders where the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) plans to operate peak hour express transit service. In addition, a transit envelope is provided within the proposed typical section to allow the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) to explore additional transit opportunities. Project features and associated impacts from the proposed include bridges, medians, bike paths (proposed shared use paths), and drainage/water quality treatment requirements, including drainage ponds.

 

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION – The applicant has provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment:

 

“Since this is a phased project, it’s anticipated that further avoidance and minimization strategies will be developed during each phase. Contractors will be encouraged to incorporate additional measures to enhance avoidance and minimization of impacts to resources through both innovative design features and/or construction methods.”

 

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

 

“A detailed mitigation plan is being prepared to compensate for unavoidable impacts to wetlands. This plan will follow the requirements of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) twelve mitigation plan components. An Inter-local Agreement has been established between the MDX and Miami-Dade County which specifies certain requirements to be incorporated into the assessment of impacts and the mitigation.”

 

CULTURAL RESOURCES:   The Corps is aware of historic properties within or in close proximity of the permit area.  The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter.

 

ENDANGERED SPECIES:   A preliminary review the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Protected Resource Divisions (NMFS-PRD)’s list of Endangered and Threatened Species indicates the following listed species may occur in the project area:

 

The Corps has determined the proposed project “May affect but is not likely to adversely affect” Bartram’s Scrub Hairstreak (Strymon acis bartrami) as it is in the vicinity of the host plant–pine rockland interface.

 

The Corps has determined the proposed project “May affect but is not likely to adversely affect” the Florida Brickell Bush and its critical habitat (Brickellia mosieri) as it is in the vicinity of Everglades National Park (ENP).

 

The Corps has determined the proposed project “May affect but is not likely to adversely affect” Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis) as it is located within Water Conservation Area 3A which could potentially affect water delivery to ENP.

 

The Corps has determined the proposed project “May affect but is not likely to adversely affect” Carter’s Small Flowered Flax (Linum carteri var. carteri) as it is in the vicinity of ENP.

 

The Corps has determined the proposed project “May affect but is not likely to adversely affect” the Everglades snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) and its critical habitat, as the site contains habitat for this species and it is critical habitat for this species.

 

The Corps has determined the proposed project is “May affect” the wood stork (Mycteria americana). Based on the Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in South Florida (dated May 18, 2010), the Corps determination sequence was A>B>C>E= “may affect.”

 

The Corps has determined the proposed project “May affect” the Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi).  Based on the Eastern Indigo Snake Effect Determination Key (dated August 1, 2017), the Corps determination sequence resulted in A>B>C = “may affect.”  

 

The Corps has determined the proposed project “May affect” the Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus). Based on the 2013 FBB Effect Determination Guidelines, the Corps determination sequence resulted in 1= “May affect” because the project is located in the FBB Focal Areas. The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.

 

The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.

 

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH):  This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996.  Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the snapper-grouper complex as the proposed project impacts freshwater wetlands.  Our final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review by and coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

 

NOTE:  This public notice is being issued based on information furnished by the applicant.  This information has not been verified or evaluated to ensure compliance with laws and regulation governing the regulatory program.  The jurisdictional line has not been verified by Corps personnel.

 

AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES:  Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.

 

COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, FL 33176 within 30 days from the date of this notice.

 

The decision whether to issue or deny this permit application will be based on the information received from this public notice and the evaluation of the probable impact to the associated wetlands.  This is based on an analysis of the applicant's avoidance and minimization efforts for the project, as well as the compensatory mitigation proposed.

 

QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Megan Clouser, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, FL 33176; by electronic mail at Megan.L.Clouser@usace.army.mil or by telephone at (305) 526-7182. 

 

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Services, and other Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and concerned citizens generally yields pertinent environmental information that is instrumental in determining the impact the proposed action will have on the natural resources of the area.

 

EVALUATION: 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 benefits, 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 cumulative impacts thereof; among these are conservation, economics, esthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historical 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. Evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will also include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act or the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972.  A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.

 

The US Army Corps of Engineers (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 determination, comments are used to assess impacts to endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

 

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan.  In Puerto Rico, a Coastal Zone Management Consistency Concurrence is required from the Puerto Rico Planning Board.  In the Virgin Islands, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources permit constitutes compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Plan.

 

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the designated comment period of the notice and must state the specific reasons for requesting the public hearing.