SCI-823 Portsmouth Bypass Project, Scioto County, Ohio


  • Ecological Survey
  • Threatened and Endangered Species Survey
  • Waterway Permit Package
  • Stream Mitigation Opportunities Inventory Report (SMOIR)
  • History/Architecture Reevaluation Report

ASC was contracted by HDR Engineering, Inc. to update the ecological documentation for Construction Phase 1 of the Preferred Alternative of the Portsmouth Bypass Project (SCI-823-0.00) in Scioto County, Ohio (PID 19415). Due to the time elapsed from the initial ecological survey, the original surveys were outdated and in need of reevaluation. In addition to the ecological reevaluation, ASC was contracted to update the existing Stream Mitigation Opportunities Inventory Report (SMOIR), update the existing threatened and endangered species surveys, and complete the waterway permits for the project.

As part of this project, biologists and ecologists from ASC conducted an ecological survey of Construction Phase 1 of the Preferred Alternative for the Portsmouth Bypass. During the survey of the 3.32-mile corridor, ASC delineated and assessed the quality of 33 jurisdictional wetlands that occupied a total area of approximately 3.9 acres. During the ecological survey, ASC delineated more than 9,600 ft of jurisdictional stream channel and conducted QHEI and HHEI assessments on each of the 21 individual streams.

ASC biologists and ecologists also conducted a Threatened and Endangered Species Survey for state and federally listed species whose habitat overlapped the 26-mile corridor of the Preferred Alternative for the Portsmouth Bypass. After extensive coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) it was determined that ASC would focus their survey effort to determine the presence of the federally endangered running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum) and the federally threatened small whorled pogonia (Isotria medeoloides) over the entire 26-mile corridor. After an extensive survey and additional coordination with ODOT and the USFWS, it was determined that the Portsmouth Bypass may affect but is not likely to adversely affect these federally listed species. Several state-listed species were identified during the survey of the Preferred Alternative and included the state endangered southern monkshood (Aconitum uncinatum) and primrose-leaved violet (Viola primulifolia), and the state potentially threatened American chestnut (Castanea dentata).

ASC was also contracted to complete the Waterway Permit Package (including an individual 404 and 401) for the proposed project. During the permitting process, impacts were minimized and refined to 9,525 feet of jurisdictional stream impact and 3.89 acres of jurisdictional wetland impact. In order to mitigate these impacts, ASC revised the original SMOIR in order to identify additional mitigation opportunities to offset the unavoidable impacts to Waters of the US. As part of this evaluation, ASC identified and evaluated additional parcels using available information to assess these areas as potential stream mitigation sites.

Potential stream mitigation opportunities were identified by inquiring with various watershed and conservation groups within and adjacent to the impacted watershed. In order to identify additional potential stream mitigation opportunities, ASC developed a GIS model to identify parcels with potential stream mitigation credit. This data search, along with existing ODOT pooled stream mitigation credits, identified nearly 309,000 feet of potential stream mitigation. After the submission of the SMOIR, ODOT identified an additional potential stream mitigation opportunity at the GE Peebles Test Operations Facility near Peebles in Adams County, Ohio. The GE Facility is a 6,670-acre area used for jet engine testing. ODOT decided to investigate the property as a potential stream mitigation site as the vast majority of the facility consists of mature second-growth forest in an area of diverse topography, which includes numerous mapped and unmapped streams potentially suitable for use as stream mitigation. Ecologists and biologists from ASC conducted a stream survey of the southern portion of the property and identified 38 jurisdictional stream channels with approximately 55,000 feet for use as potential stream mitigation. ASC delineated and conducted QHEI and HHEI assessments on these streams and presented the results to ODOT in an addendum SMOIR  report. ODOT is currently working with GE to secure easements on these streams for use as a potential pooled stream mitigation site
for the Portsmouth Bypass.

ASC also completed a Phase I History/Architecture Reevaluation report for Phases 2 and 3 of the SCI-823 Portsmouth Bypass project (SCI-823-0.00; PID 19415) in Harrison, Jefferson, Madison, Porter, and Valley townships in Scioto County. The original history/architecture survey conducted in 2001–2002 examined a study area 16 miles long and one to two miles wide that extended from US 23 to US 52 west of Wheelersburg. The Ohio Historic Preservation Office concurred with a finding of No Historic Properties Affected in 2004. Phase 2 of construction extends from Lucasville-Minford Road to US 23. Phase 3 of construction extends from US 52 to relocated Shumway Hollow Road. The reevaluation of Phase 1, from Lucasville-Minford Road to relocated Shumway Hollow Road, has already been completed. The Area of Potential Effect for Phases 2 and 3 consists of the construction limits for these phases and the parcels adjacent to the construction limits. A literature review determined that no properties in the Area of Potential Effect have been listed in or determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places since the finding of No Historic Properties Affected in 2004. Ten buildings in the Area of Potential Effect have turned 50 years of age or otherwise were not identified in the original surveys. None of these buildings is significant under the National Register of Historic Places Criteria for Evaluation and all are recommended as not eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

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