Ecological Services For GSP Bridge Replacement Project
Davey Resource Group assisted the New Jersey Turnpike Authority in obtaining State and Federal environmental permits for the replacement of Garden State Parkway bridge over Great Egg Harbor.
Davey Resource Group (DRG) provided environmental services for a project that included the proposed replacement of the Southbound Garden State Parkway (GSP) Bridges over Great Egg Harbor Bay and Drag Channel. These services included the delineation of wetlands utilizing the routine methodology outlined in the Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands (1989), as required by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), and in the 1987 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Manual, as required by the USACE. A wetland delineation report was prepared. A Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Survey, Essential Fish Habitat Assessment and Threatened & Endangered Species Habitat Assessment were performed by DRG. Applications were submitted for a USACE Jurisdictional Determination and NJDEP Coastal General Permit for Geotechnical Borings. Consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act with National Marine Fisheries Service was conducted for acoustic effects to federally listed threatened & endangered sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon. DRG also prepared applications for a USACE Section 404/10 Individual Permit and a combined NJDEP Freshwater Wetlands Individual Permit, CAFRA, Waterfront Development and Coastal Wetlands Permits. Coastal Zone Consistency Determination and 401 Water Quality Certification were also requested with the permit applications; the permits were subsequently approved.
A New Jersey No Net Loss Reforestation (NNL) Plan was prepared to address proposed tree removal associated with the project; the NNL Plan was prepared in accordance with New Jersey No Net Loss Reforestation Act and was approved by the NJDEP Division of Parks and Forestry. The project also included preparation of a riparian zone (RZ) compensation plan for impacts to riparian zones throughout the project area. The RZ Compensation Plan was approved by the NJDEP Mitigation Unit.
DRG identified a nesting pair of State endangered peregrine falcons on the existing bridge structure and worked with NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ to design and construct an alternate nesting structure, which was utilized by the falcons starting in the 2013 breeding season. DRG conducted monitoring each year (beginning in 2013) during construction to determine where peregrine falcons were nesting and whether deterrent measures for nesting on the bridge had been effective. This monitoring was coordinated with the ENSP and was conducted during each nesting season of each construction year through 2018. DRG prepared monitoring reports and submitted to ENSP following each site visit. DRG also prepared an amendment to the US Coast Guard NEPA CED and updated agency consultations to obtain an amendment to a bridge permit to authorize superstructure replacement of the Northbound GSP Bridges.