GZA worked with the Connecticut Department of Transportation to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the 32-mile Interstate 84 Corridor from Waterbury, CT to the New York State Line in conformance with NEPA and CEPA requirements. GZA assessed existing conditions and impacts to wetlands, watercourses, rare species, contaminated sites, and prime farmlands over approximately 5,000 acres within and proximal to the corridor. GZA conducted a secondary & cumulative impacts assessment by evaluating historical trends in land use and population growth of a similar highway corridor. GZA was responsible for public participation efforts as they relate to the above elements of the EIS. GZA interfaced directly with DEEP, USACE, EPA and FWS in preparing Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative (LEDPA) documentation and a draft Section 404/401 permit application.
GZA completed an extensive natural communities assessment including wildlife habitat features that incorporated topography, vegetative cover and habitat continuity. Stormwater management issues where investigated to assess the potential need for improvements to structural stormwater components and watershed management options.
GZA conducted an extensive field analysis of wetlands using recent aerial photography aided by the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. Wetlands were identified and their functions and values assessed in accordance with the USACE/EPA Highway Methodology.
The major streams in the highway corridor were assessed using a rapid bio-assessment approach that characterizes the quality of the stream’s habitat using a variety of parameters including: substrate type, velocity, width, sinuosity, connectivity, water clarity and riparian habitat, among other things. GZA developed its own Stream Assessment Field Data Form suited to the particular needs of the project.