Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA)
- Wetland Delineations
- Critical Areas Assessment and Mitigation
- Interagency Coordination
The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) was conducting environmental studies for the widening of US 50 Eastbound at the approach to the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza. The transition from three travel lanes to ten toll lanes creates a significant bottleneck, increasing delays moving through the toll plaza. The proposed widening, a 120 foot maximum, will gradually increase the road’s width from the overpass for the Sandy Point State Park access road to the toll plaza. The project will enhance the facility’s ability to handle heavy traffic flows in a safe and efficient manner.
The project site is located along US 50 Eastbound, from the Sandy Point State Park overpass (Oceanic Dr.) to the Toll Plaza. The site is located in the Coastal Plain physiographic province with elevations ranging from 2 to 15 feet above sea level. The entire site is located within 1000 feet of the Chesapeake Bay and falls within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area. The land adjacent to the site is dominated by transportation facilities with some narrow wooded areas within the roadway rights-of-way.
CRI provided environmental assessments, wetland delineations and permitting services for three phases of the proposed widening of eastbound US 50 at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge approach over a three year period. CRI delineated all wetlands, prepared delineation reports and worked with regulatory agency staff to obtain the jurisdictional determinations of wetland boundaries. Wetland impact plates were developed for authorization of wetland impacts for two of the phases under MDTA’s Regional Letter of Authorization (RLOA).
Critical Area Assessments
CRI assessed the projects for regulated impacts within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area and prepared Critical Area reports and plans for submittal to the Critical Area Commission.
CRI coordinated with Maryland Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Maryland Historical Trust regarding the presence of sensitive species and historic/archaeological resources on each of the sites.
CRI staff coordinated with project engineers on stormwater requirements within the Critical Area and mitigation for increases in impervious surfaces. CRI technical staff attended Critical Area Commission meetings and responded to Commissioners’ questions regarding the projects. Appropriate Critical Area mitigation sites were located and mitigation plans were developed for forest and 100 foot buffer impacts.
CRI prepared planting plans and cost estimates and provided them in electronic form for inclusion in the bid packages. Due to the complicated nature of the project phasing, CRI staff coordinated extensively with Critical Areas Commission staff throughout the various phases of the project to obtain project approval.