Public Notice


Published June 28, 2016
Expiration date: 7/28/2016

DISCLAIMER: Please download the attached PDF version of this notice for complete information, proper formatting, and inclusion of tables and figures.


Issue Date: June 28, 2016

Comment Deadline: July 28, 2016

Corps Action ID Number: SAW-2012-00417

The Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) received an application from North Carolina Department of Transportation, Mr. Philip Harris, P.E., Project Development and Environmental Analysis Unit, 1548 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1548 seeking Department of the Army authorization for the permanent impact to 2,209 linear feet of stream channel (of which 255 linear feet is bank stabilization) and the permanent impact to 0.05 acres of wetland. The proposed impacts are associated with the NC 3 (Mooresville Road) Improvement Project (TIP# U-3440) which starts at Kannapolis Parkway and extends 2.6 miles to terminate at Dale Earnhardt Boulevard/Loop Road in Kannapolis, Cabarrus County, North Carolina.

Specific plans and location information are described below and shown on the attached plans. This Public Notice and all attached plans are also available on the Wilmington District Web Site at:

Applicant: North Carolina Department of Transportation,

Project Development and Environmental Analysis Unit

Attn: Mr. Philip Harris, P.E.

1548 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1598


The Corps evaluates this application and decides whether to issue, conditionally issue, or deny the proposed work pursuant to applicable procedures of the following Statutory Authorities:

X - Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344)

    - Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403)

    - Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1413)


Directions to Site: The proposed project is located along existing NC 3 (Mooresville Road) and begins at Kannapolis Parkway and extends 2.6 miles to terminate at Dale Earnhardt Boulevard/Loop Road in Kannapolis, Cabarrus County, North Carolina.

Project Area: Approximately 2.6 miles

Nearest Town: Kannapolis

Nearest Waterway: Irish Buffalo Creek

River Basin: Yadkin/Pee Dee River Basin (HUC 03040105)

Latitude and Longitude: Project start point: 35.4899 N, -80.67154 W; Project end point: 35.449901 N, -80.63023 W

Existing Site Conditions 

The study area lies in the piedmont physiographic region of North Carolina. Topography in the project vicinity is comprised of gently rolling hills with narrow, level floodplains along streams. Elevations in the project study area range from 660 to 830 feet above sea level.

General development along the NC 3 (Mooresville Road) Improvement corridor consist of mostly residential and vacant (wooded and agricultural land) with some commercial properties as well. The project corridor lies fully within the Yadkin/Pee Dee River Basin, USGS Hydrologic Units Code HUC 03040105. The only named stream in the project area is Irish Buffalo Creek. Aquatic communities in the project study area consist of both perennial and intermittent piedmont streams and wetlands. There are no Outstanding Resource Waters, High Quality waters, nor are there any waters designated as WS-I or WS-II Water Supply waters within 1.0 mile of any portion of the project study area. There are nine stream channels (to include Irish Buffalo Creek) that cross through the project’s study area. Irish Buffalo Creek had previously been listed in the 2012 303(d) for turbidity but is not listed in the North Carolina 2014 Final 303(d) list of impaired waters for turbidity or sedimentation, nor is it listed on the draft 2016 303(d) list for turbidity or sedimentation. As such, the applicant does not propose to use Design Standards in Sensitive Watersheds.

Applicant’s Stated Purpose 

The applicant’s stated purpose is as follows:

“The primary purpose of the proposed project is to reduce delays along NC 3 (Mooresville Road), which is experiencing congestion and is expected to reach Level of Service (LOS) F in the immediate future. The proposed improvements will be of benefit providing an increased ease of travel between the Kannapolis Parkway and downtown Kannapolis.”

Project Description 

The applicant’s preferred alternative for the NC 3 (Mooresville Road) Improvement Project proposes to widen Mooresville Road to a four lane divided facility with typical sections that would consist of two 11‐foot travel lanes, a 5‐foot bicycle lane in each direction, a 23.5‐foot wide grass median and sidewalks on both sides of the proposed facility. The project would result in the permanent impact to 2,209 linear feet of stream channel (of which 255 linear feet is bank stabilization) and the permanent impact to 0.05 acres of wetland.

Avoidance and Minimization 

The applicant provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment:

“Existing drainage patterns and outfalls have been maintained where possible. Specific examples of avoidance and minimization measures for the project include:

• Best Management Practices (BMPs) will be utilized during construction to attempt to reduce the stormwater impacts to receiving streams and wetlands due to erosion and runoff.

• Site S1: includes channel relocation rather than piping.

• Site MB: RCBC includes baffles with low flow channel and sills to retain native bed material.

• Site IBC: Dual bridges will span Irish Buffalo Creek, with bents located on top of banks to avoid permanent stream impacts.

• Site S2: includes stream channel relocation (open channel flow) rather than piping.

• Site S6: the use of sills in the 2 @ 8’X10’ RCBC, with alternating sills and baffles in the low flow barrel, and sills in the main barrel to maintain native bed material.

• Burying of each new structure appropriately to ensure that the bed material will be retained as much as possible.

• The unregistered landfill in the southwest quadrant of the NC3 / Mooresville Road and Bethpage Road intersection will be avoided with an alignment shift to the north of the existing NC 3 facility.”

“Historic District: During project development, NCDOT explored reduced median widths, use of curb and gutter, and retaining walls as part of its minimization effort, particularly within the Juniper‐Pine‐Mooresville‐Chestnut and Frog Hollow Mill Village historic district. Minimization planning for the typical section of the proposed facility within the historic district proposed to reduce the width of the inside and outside travels lanes to 11 feet and 13 feet, respectively. The existing pavement will be replaced, but the existing grade and placement for curb and gutter will be maintained with the proposed construction where feasible.”

Compensatory Mitigation 

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

The applicant proposes to request mitigation credit from NC Division of Mitigation Services (DMS) to off-set the impacts to 1,954 linear feet of warm water stream channel and 0.5 acre riparian wetlands in Yadkin/Pee Dee River Basin (HUC 03040105) at a 2:1 ratio of mitigation to impacts.

Essential Fish Habitat 

Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, this Public Notice initiates the Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) consultation requirements. The Corps’ initial determination is that the proposed project would not effect EFH or associated fisheries managed by the South Atlantic or Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Councils or the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Cultural Resources 

There are two historic districts which are eligible for listing in the NRHP along the project corridor. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has been completed between NCDOT, the USACE, and the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office (NC‐HPO). The MOA covers terms for the proposed project construction, impacts and mitigation for any impacts to the historic resources. In the MOA, there is a stipulation that states that the USACE shall ensure that measures (included in the MOA) are made part of any permit issued to NCDOT for the undertaking.

Endangered Species 

Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Corps reviewed the project area, examined all information provided by the applicant and consulted the latest North Carolina Natural Heritage Database. Based on available information:

   - The Corps determines that the proposed project would not affect federally listed endangered or threatened species or their formally designated critical habitat.

X - The Corps determines that the proposed project may affect federally listed endangered or threatened species or their formally designated critical habitat. The Corps initiates consultation under Section 7 of the ESA and will not make a permit decision until the consultation process is complete.

   - The Corps is not aware of the presence of species listed as threatened or endangered or their critical habitat formally designated pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) within the project area. The Corps will make a final determination on the effects of the proposed project upon additional review of the project and completion of any necessary biological assessment and/or consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or National Marine Fisheries Service.

Other Required Authorizations 

The Corps forwards this notice and all applicable application materials to the appropriate State agencies for review.

North Carolina Division of Water Resources (NCDWR): The Corps will generally not make a final permit decision until the NCDWR issues, denies, or waives the state Certification as required by Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (PL 92-500). The receipt of the application and this public notice, combined with the appropriate application fee, at the NCDWR Central Office in Raleigh constitutes initial receipt of an application for a 401 Certification. A waiver will be deemed to occur if the NCDWR fails to act on this request for certification within sixty days of receipt of a complete application. Additional information regarding the 401 Certification may be reviewed at the NCDWR Central Office, Transportation Permitting Unit, 512 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604-2260. All persons desiring to make comments regarding the application for a 401 Certification should do so, in writing, by July 28, 2016 to:

NCDWR Central Office

Attention: Ms. Amy Chapman, Transportation Permitting Unit

(USPS mailing address): 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1617


(physical address): 512 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604

North Carolina Division of Coastal Management (NCDCM): 

   - The application did not include a certification that the proposed work complies with and would be conducted in a manner that is consistent with the approved North Carolina Coastal Zone Management Program. Pursuant to 33 CFR 325.2(b)(2) the Corps cannot issue a Department of Army (DA) permit for the proposed work until the applicant submits such a certification to the Corps and the NCDCM, and the NCDCM notifies the Corps that it concurs with the applicant’s consistency certification. As the application did not include the consistency certification, the Corps will request, upon receipt,, concurrence or objection from the NCDCM.

X - Based upon all available information, the Corps determines that this application for a Department of Army (DA) permit does not involve an activity which would affect the coastal zone, which is defined by the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Act (16 U.S.C. § 1453).


The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts 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 (in accordance with Executive Order 11988), 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. For activities involving the discharge of dredged or fill materials in waters of the United States, the evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will include application of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 404(b)(1) guidelines.

Commenting Information 

The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State and local agencies and officials, including any consolidated State Viewpoint or written position of the Governor; 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 (EA) and/or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 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 the application. Requests for public hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing. Requests for a public hearing shall be granted, unless the District Engineer determines that the issues raised are insubstantial or there is otherwise no valid interest to be served by a hearing.

The Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District will receive written comments pertinent to the proposed work, as outlined above, until 5pm, October 26, 2015. Comments should be submitted to Ms. Crystal Amschler, Asheville Regulatory Field Office, 151 Patton Avenue, Room 208, Asheville, North Carolina 28801-5006, at (828) 271-7980, ext 231.

DISCLAIMER: Please download the attached PDF version of this notice for complete information, proper formatting, and inclusion of tables and figures.