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Celebrating 22 Years of Service!

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Transportation

FM 1409 Roadway Extension Project: Environmental Assessment and Public Involvement, Chambers County and the Texas Department of Transportation Beaumont District (Dannenbaum Engineering)

This roadway extension project, conducted in coordination with Chambers County and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Beaumont District, involved extension of FM 1409 from FM 565 in Old River-Winfree to FM 565 West of Cove, Texas. This includes the construction of approximately 4 miles of new roadway and associated drainage to effectively respond to increased transportation demand in western Chambers County.

Crouch Environmental Services prepared the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation (an Environmental Assessment) for this transportation project and conducted necessary field surveys, including a wetland delineation, threatened and endangered species assessment, and cultural resources assessment.

Crouch Communications developed a public involvement plan and conducted a public meeting for the FM 1409 roadway expansion in December 2012. This effort supported the Environmental Assessment document preparation led by Crouch Environmental Services. Public involvement tasks adhered to TxDOT standards, including venue selection; notification of elected officials, adjacent landowners, and area stakeholders; coordination of published noticing; creation of branding, informational displays, and a project newsletter; meeting organization and logistics; and documentation of the meeting and all public comments received. A formal public meeting summary report was compiled to support the NEPA process by documenting all public involvement activities.

FM 529 Access Management Study and Categorical Exclusion, Texas Department of Transportation Houston District (Rodriguez Transportation Group)

This roadway improvement project, sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation is located along Farm-to-Market (FM) 529 from Greenhouse Road to United States Highway 290 in Harris County, Texas. The purpose of the project was to improve the mobility, safety, and quality of life for the people traveling along FM 529. The 8-mile roadway project included the conversion of the center left-turn lane of FM 529 to a raised median to control roadway access to adjacent properties.

In coordination with the project design engineers, Crouch Environmental Services provided environmental study and NEPA compliance, and Crouch Communications provided public involvement services.

Crouch Environmental Services collected data for various environmental constraints within the project limits. This included performing a wetland delineation, habitat evaluation, vegetation survey, surveys for potential wildlife utilization, and water quality analysis. After data collection was complete, an evaluation of the potential impacts to the human, physical and natural environments was conducted. The collected data were documented in a Categorical Exclusion (CE) to satisfy National Environmental Policy Act requirements.

Public involvement services provided for this project include publishing public notice of the public meeting, developing informational handouts and displays, facilitation of a well-attended public meeting, and documentation of the public involvement efforts in a comprehensive public meeting summary report.

The FM 529 Access Management Study CE received environmental clearance with TxDOT approval on July 27, 2012. Crouch Environmental Services conducted all studies, compiled the CE, and received environmental clearance within a little over a year. The environmental clearance allowed the project to proceed to the next stage of project development.

Grand Parkway: State Highway 99, Turner, Collie, and Braden Inc./AECOM and Michael Baker Corporation

State Highway 99 (Grand Parkway) is a proposed 180-mile circumferential highway traversing seven counties in the greater Houston area. The project is divided into 11 independent segments for construction and funding purposes.

Grand Parkway would provide access to major radial freeways in the Houston area and would serve as a third beltway around the city. The Grand Parkway is anticipated to provide access and increased mobility to areas in the proposed corridor, will provide critically needed freeway capacity in areas which require additional emergency evacuation routes during hurricanes, will help complete the implementation of several major thoroughfare plans to support economic and residential growth, and will provide an alternative route to drivers desiring to bypass the central city, thereby relieving existing congestion.

Crouch Environmental Services provided environmental consulting services on Segments D, I-2 and G. Segment D is approximately 17 miles long and stretches from Interstate Highway (IH) 10 West to United States Highway (US) 59 South in Harris and Fort Bend Counties. Crouch Environmental Services conducted field surveys and literature reviews to support the re-evaluation of the Environmental Assessment for Segment D. CESI compiled data including wetlands, threatened and endangered species, hazardous materials, vegetation, wildlife, and indirect and cumulative impacts.

Segment I-2 is approximately 15 miles long and stretches from State Highway 225 to IH 10 East in Harris and Chambers Counties. Crouch Environmental Services conducted a wetland delineation on Segment I-2 and identified approximately 35 acres of wetlands within the proposed right-of-way which included a variety of different wetland habitat types including fresh water wetlands, tidally influenced wetlands, streams, and larger water bodies of Cedar Bayou, Goose Creek, Tabbs Bay, and Black Duck Bay. Crouch Environmental Services coordinated with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to obtain a jurisdictional determination for the project site. CESI prepared and coordinated a bridge permit with the United States Coast Guard under Section 9 of the Rivers and Harbors Act for a new bridge over Cedar Bayou. A public meeting was held to inform the public about the proposed plans for Segment I-2, and Crouch Communications documented the meeting in a comprehensive public meeting summary report.

Segment G is approximately 14 miles long and stretches from IH 45 to US 59 in Harris and Montgomery Counties. CESI conducted a wetland delineation on Segment G and identified approximately 61 acres of forested wetlands, 21 acres of non-forested wetlands, and 9,000 linear feet of stream. CESI also conducted an assessment of the existing habitat on the project right-of-way to determine the potential presence or absence of state and federally listed endangered and threatened species.

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