Planning & NEPA Studies

Trail Construction

Muscatine, Iowa

Challenge

In 2016, the City of Muscatine had an active year of projects involving federal funds. With the federal involvement came the need to complete National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Analysis and documentation. Impact7G was involved with three NEPA environmental planning projects with the City of Muscatine in 2016. One of the projects, Musser Park to Wiggins Road Recreational Trail, involved changes to formerly approved concept plans and required quick action on the part of the City to complete the NEPA process as quickly as possible to make informed decisions related to design as well as keep construction on schedule.

Solution

The Musser Park Trail project included recognition that the proposed action received a federal funding allocation and that the proposed project received NEPA programmatic categorical exclusion clearance from the Iowa DOT. However, changes to the proposed trail alignment necessitated an archeological review to satisfy Section 106 and Iowa DOT/FHWA NEPA requirements. For the proposed trail alignment changes, Impact7G managed the completion of the Project Data Sheet, Determination of Effect (DOE) for threatened and endangered species, and the Phase I Archaeological Review. All tasks were necessary for the NEPA clearance and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 compliance for the portion of trail development from Dick Drake Way to Wiggins Road in Muscatine. Impact7G completed all the data collection, coordination, and documentation related to completing the required revisions to the Environmental Data Sheet and DOE Forms. Impact7G analyzed subsections of the new trail alignment to determine the appropriate level of archaeological review. With DOT concurrence on the scope of the archeological review, Impact7G partnered with a reputable cultural resources consultant to complete more detailed reviews and documentation. The project quickly received NEPA clearance on the new alignment and design and construction proceeded on schedule.

Project Outcomes

  • Expedient and accurate identification of environmental resources along new trail alignment
  • Effective coordination with Iowa Department of Transportation NEPA and Cultural Resources Sections
  • New Trail Alignment Obtained NEPA Concurrence as a Categorical Exclusion

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