APPLICATION FOR PERMIT
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Public Notice/Application Number: LRC-2012-00468
Comment Period BEGINS: Monday, May 8, 2023
Comment Period Expires: Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Village of Barrington
200 South Hough Street
Barrington, Illinois 60010
Proposal to lower U.S. Route 14 under the existing CN/EJ&E Railway in the Village of Barrington, Illinois (See attachments). A detailed description of this proposal is provided on page 2 of this notice.
Location of Proposed Action
U.S Route 14 between Elm Road and Illinois Route 59 (Hough Street) in Barrington, Lake County, Illinois (Latitude: 42.161487, Longitude: -88.131026).
Interested parties are hereby notified that an application has been received for a Department of the Army permit for the activity described herein and as shown on the attached drawings. You are invited to provide your comments by June 7, 2023 on the proposed work, which will become part of the record and will be considered in the decision. A permit will be issued or denied under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1344).
Written comments shall be mailed to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Chicago District, Regulatory Branch
Attn: LRC-2012-00468, Mr. Soren Hall
231 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60604-1437
It should be noted that ALL comments received by this office (via hard copy or electronic) will only be accepted with the full name and address, and email address, if available of the individual commenting, and must be received by the close of the public notice period. Electronic comments may be sent to the project manager at Soren.G.Hall@usace.army.mil.
The proposed work consists of the construction of a grade separation of U.S. Route 14 under the CN/EJ&E (Canadian National / Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern) Railway through lowering of U.S. Route 14 to pass under the railway (see page 1 of the attachments for a location map and page 2 for a plan sheet depicting the new road grade). Flint Creek Tributary would be realigned to go around the lowered road segment (see page 3 of the attachments for a plan sheet depicting the proposed creek realignment). The profile of Lake Zurich Road would be lowered to meet the new profile of U.S Route 14. Sidewalks and a multi-use path would be provided throughout the length of the project. A stormwater pump station to drain the underpass would also be constructed. To complete the grade separation, a temporary waterway channel, railroad shoofly, and road turnaround would also be required.
The purpose of the proposed grade crossing is to reduce delays to motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, emergency responders, and any other travelers who use U.S. Route 14 caused by trains on the CN Railway that block the U.S. 14 crossing. The Village of Barrington is served by three major roadways: U.S. Route 14, Lake-Cook Road, and IL Route 59. All three of these roadways cross the CN Railway track at the same elevation, so motorists using these roadways must stop when trains are passing through.
U.S. Route 14 carried 30,000 vehicles per day in 2014 and is projected to increase to 33,000 by 2040. Congestion on the Village’s roadways is exacerbated by heavy train traffic on the CN/EJ&E Railway as well as the UP Railroad. In some cases, it can take 20 minutes for traffic congestion caused by a train to dissipate after crossing U.S. Route 14, and often the congestion does not dissipate before another train arrives.
In 2008, CN acquired EJ&E Railway and increased the number of trains per day at the
crossing. As of 2015, the number of trains per day was 20. In addition to the increase in number of trains, the length of trains also increased over 4,000 feet on average per train. According to the traffic study completed by the Village, the increased number and length of trains resulted in 122
hours of delay per day over pre-existing conditions at the U.S. Route 14 crossing. This increase in delays exceeds the FHWA criterion for consideration of a grade separation, which is 40 hours of total delay per day.
Sites 1, W1 (Flint Creek), and Detention Pond 1 were determined to be USACE jurisdictional. Only impacts to these resources are included in the total impacts identified in this notice (see page 3 of the attachments for impact locations and pages 4 and 5 for plan sheets depicting the new creek alignment). The realignment of Flint Creek at the western end would result in the loss of 0.01 acres of Wetland Site 1. These impacts are small relative to the overall size of Wetland Site 1, so the remaining portions will remain viable. Wetland Site 1 is a moderate quality wetland with a Native FQI of 13.4 and mean C of 2.3.
The realignment of Flint Creek would result in the loss of 0.24 acres of the stream where U.S Route 14 would be lowered at the existing crossing and where the new stream segment ties into the existing creek. Additionally, the realignment will direct flow away from a 0.37 acres segment of existing Flint Creek before the realigned segment reconnects to Flint Creek.
According to the Fish, Macroinvertebrate, and Water Quality monitoring completed by Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) in 2014, the existing Flint Creek Tributary is comprised of cobble, gravel, sand, boulders and silt. The average stream width within the project corridor is 12 feet, and the average depth is 1.25 feet. The tributary flows through a residential area, under U.S. Route 14 into an altered, channelized section parallel to the CN/EJ&E Railway. The surveys reported that the water quality of the creek based on MIBI was determined to be “good” based on the IEPA SHAP scale. Two metrics in this scale scored in the “poor” range – channel sinuosity and immediate land use, which correspond with the segment identified in page 3 of the attachments to be indirectly impacted. Five common fish species were identified within the creek, with the dominant fish species being bluegill. No historical or recent records of listed species are present in this location.
The following was provided as part of the permit application:
(see attached PDF file)
Avoidance & Minimization
The applicant has stated the following concerning avoidance and minimization of impacts to Waters of the United States: The relocation of the Flint Creek Tributary is necessary to achieve the grade separation of the CN Railroad and US Route 14.
The applicant has stated the following concerning compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to Waters of the United States:
Approximately 1,700 linear feet of creek will be relocated. The majority of the existing channel will not be filled and will remain as a back water habitat and will provide flood control, wildlife habitat, and water quality functions. The relocated stream will provide a functional lift when compared to the section of stream that will be abandoned. The relocated stream will have a five-year maintenance and monitoring plan. See attachment pages 4 and 5 for plan sheets depicting the location of the relocated channel.
The design of the new channel will provide improved sediment transport and aquatic habitat benefits. The channel will have pools/riffles, cross vanes, and shoreline revetments with sand and cobble bottom for water quality, erosion control, and habitat purposes.
The benefits of the realignment of the Flint Creek Tributary include the following:
- The addition of 1,701 linear feet of stream;
- Functional lift of approximately 700 linear feet of stream, an improvement from the channelized section of the stream within the railroad ROW;
- In-stream structures will be placed to provide functional aquatic habitat, including varying sized rock, cross vanes, riffles and pools, streambank revetments, and the installation of native vegetation;
- A minimum 30-foot stream buffer/riparian habitat will be improved by planting of native vegetation.
- A minimum 5-year management of invasive and weedy species;
- With the existing channel to remain, the addition of flood storage (6 acre-feet);
- Metapopulation connectivity will be facilitated through including patches of habitat within the realigned stream;
- Sinuosity will be added to the stream design, where possible, based on land constraints;
- The addition of rock provide refugia and habitat for a variety of invertebrates.
The Corps has not verified the adequacy of this mitigation proposal at this time and will make the final determination on whether the proposed mitigation is appropriate and practicable in accordance with 33 CFR Part 332.
This proposed action will be reviewed according to the provisions of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972.
This application will be reviewed according to the provisions of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972 due to placement of 0.25 acres of fill in waters of the U.S. Wetland Site 1 (0.01 acre impact and Flint Creek (0.24 acres). Wetland 1 and Flint Creek were determined to be jurisdictional due to their connection to the Fox River, a Traditional Navigable Water.
The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of 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, 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. In addition, if the proposed activity involves the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, the evaluation of the impact on the public interest will include application of Section 404(b)(1) guidelines (40 CFR 230) promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Corps of Engineers is also soliciting comments from the public, Federal, state and local agencies, Indian tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the potential impacts of the proposed activity. Once this office completes a review of the comments received, it will be determined whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal.
To prepare this decision, comments are taken into consideration to assess impacts on the public interest factors listed above, as well as endangered species, historic properties, water quality, and general environmental effects. Comments will be used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. A determination concerning the need for a public hearing will also be based on the comments received.
Preliminary Evaluation of Selected Factors
The applicant has applied to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) for water quality certification, or waiver thereof, for the proposed activity in accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Certification or waiver indicates that the IEPA believes the activity will not violate applicable water quality standards. The review by the IEPA is conducted in accordance with the Illinois water quality standards under 35 Illinois Administrative Code Subtitle C by providing an antidegradation assessment, which includes an evaluation of alternatives to any proposed increase in pollutant loading that may result from this activity.
The "Fact Sheet" containing the antidegradation assessment for this proposed project may be found on the IEPA's web site, at https://epa.illinois.gov/public-notices/section-401-notices.html. In the event that the IEPA is unable to publish the "Fact Sheet" corresponding to the timeframe of this Joint Public Notice, a separate public notice and "Fact Sheet" will be published by the IEPA at the web site identified above. You may also obtain a copy of the "Fact Sheet" by contacting the IEPA at the address or telephone number shown below.
Written comments concerning possible impacts to water quality should be addressed to the following agency, along with a copy of the comments provided to the Corps of Engineers:
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Bureau of Water
Watershed Management Section
1021 N. Grand Avenue East
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
If you have any questions please contact the IEPA at (217) 782-3362.
Department of Natural Resources:
The applicant may have to submit an application to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Water Resources (IDNR-OWR) for a permit pursuant to the State of Illinois Rivers, Lakes and Streams Act (615 ILCS 5). Comments concerning the IDNR-OWR permit should be addressed to the following agency, along with a copy of the comments provided to the Corps of Engineers:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Office of Water Resources
2050 West Stearns Road
Bartlett, Illinois 60103
If you have any questions please contact the IDNR at (847) 608-3116.
Endangered and Threatened Species:
The Federal Highwater Administration (FHWA), the lead Federal agency Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (Section 7), has determined that the proposed activity would not affect any federally-listed endangered or threatened species or critical habitat for any endangered or threatened species, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Therefore, consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 does not appear to be warranted at this time.
Historic Properties/Cultural Resources:
Preliminary review indicates that the proposed activity may adversely affect an historic property that has been listed, or determined eligible for listing, on the National Register of Historic Places
Preliminary review indicates that the proposed activity is not likely to adversely affect any historic property which is listed, or eligible for listing, on the National Register of Historic Places.
Environmental Impact Statement
A preliminary determination has been made that an environmental impact statement is not required for the proposed work.
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 hearing shall state with particularity the reasons for holding a public hearing. A request for a hearing may be denied if substantive reasons for holding a hearing are not provided or if there is otherwise no valid interest to be served.
It should be noted that materials submitted as part of the permit application become part of the public record and are thus available to the general public under the procedures of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Individuals may submit a written request to obtain materials under FOIA or make an appointment to view the project file at the Chicago District Corps of Engineers Office of Counsel.
Interested parties wishing to comment on the proposed activity must do so in writing no later than June 7, 2023. It is presumed that all parties receiving this notice will wish to respond to this public notice; therefore, a lack of response will be interpreted as meaning that there is no objection to the project as described.
This public notice is not a paid advertisement and is for public information only. Issuance of this notice does not imply Corps of Engineers endorsement of the project as described.
If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Soren Hall of my staff by telephone at (312) 846-5532, or email at Soren.G.Hall@usace.army.mil. It should be noted that ALL comments received by this office (via hard copy or electronic) will only be accepted with the full name and address of the individual commenting. You can also visit our website at http://www.lrc.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory.aspx for more information on our program.