DES. # 2002244



The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is developing plans for a proposed small structure replacement project on SR 116 over an unnamed tributary (UNT) to Wabash River, 1.49 miles east of SR 3, in Wells County.

The purpose of this project is to maintain a hydraulically adequate crossing of SR 116 and to improve the condition of the culvert. The need for the project derives from the deteriorating condition of the existing structure. Deficiencies include a failed bituminous coating on the lower quarter on both ends of the pipe, loss of galvanization, and the exposed invert has heavy corrosion and perforations. The structure was given an overall rating of 5 (fair condition) out of 9.

The preferred alternative will replace the existing structure with a 6.0-foot diameter, 174.0-foot-long circular smooth pipe. Class 1 riprap will be placed at the outlet for scour protection and the entire structure will be sumped 0.5 foot. A total of 0.21 acre of tree clearing is anticipated. The project will result in 201.0 feet of permanent impacts to UNT to Griffin Ditch from the new structure and riprap placement. The project will impact two wetlands. The project will result in 0.037 acres of permanent impacts to Wetland 1 and 0.123 acres to Wetland 2 from embankment grading. As a result of the stream and wetland impacts, permits and mitigation will be required.

The preferred alternative was developed to minimize impacts to J. Edward Roush Fish and Wildlife Area, by maintaining construction limits to the maximum necessary to replace the structure and install scour protection.

The project will not require any proposed or temporary right-of-way. However, the project will require a permanent easement (0.635 acre) from the J. Edward Roush Fish and Wildlife Area to accommodate the new structure. This land was determined to be under Section 4(f) protection by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The impact on the J. Edward Roush Fish and Wildlife Area qualifies as a de minimis use. A de minimis impact involves the use of Section 4(f) property that is generally minor in nature. To satisfy the de minimis impact, engineers worked with IDNR-DFW, US Army Corps of Engineers and INDOT to avoid and minimize impacts and reach consensus on how the new culvert would not adversely affect the activities, features, or quality of the attributes that qualify the resource for protection under Section 4(f). A Section 4(f) letter was sent to the officials with jurisdiction (OWJ), US Army Corps of Engineers and Indiana Department of Natural Resources on March 26, 2024 and a signed agreement from the OWJs were received on March 27 and April 11, 2024. The signed agreements signify concurrence that the proposed action constitutes a de minimis use.

The maintenance of traffic (MOT) plan proposes an approximate 2-month road closure period with a detour utilizing SR 1 and US 224. The detour will add 3.1 miles to traveling motorists. The proposed start of construction is January 2025 and is expected to take six months.

The cost associated with this contract involving a total of seven small structures is approximately $6,229,230.00 which includes preliminary engineering, right-of-way, construction with both federal and state funds anticipated to be used. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and INDOT have agreed this project falls within the guidelines of a Categorical Exclusion (CE) Level 4 environmental document. Preliminary design plans along with the CE are available for review at the following locations:

1. INDOT Fort Wayne District Office – 5333 Hatfield Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46808, (855) 463-6848

2. All interested persons may request a public hearing be held and/or express their concerns by submitting comments to the attention of Beau Gentry with CDM Smith at or 317-829-9637 on or before May 17, 2024.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), persons and/or groups requiring project information be made available in alternative formats are encouraged to contact CDM Smith for the arrangement and coordination of services. In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, persons and/or groups requiring project information be made available in another language are encouraged to contact Beau Gentry with CDM Smith at or 317-829-9637.

This notice is published in compliance with: 1) Code of Federal Regulations, Title 23, Section 771 (CFR 771.111(h)(1) stating, “Each State must have procedures approved by the FHWA to carry out a public involvement/public hearing program.”; 2) 23 CFR 450.210(a)(1)(ix) stating, “Provide for the periodic review of the effectiveness of the public involvement process to ensure that the process provides full and open access to all interested parties and revise the process, as appropriate.”; and 3) The INDOT Project Development Public Involvement Procedures approved by the Federal Highway Administration on July 7, 2021.

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