The public comment period expires today on a plan by the Union Pacific Railroad to construct a new 838-foot bridge over Dorcheat Bayou southeast of Buckner near the Lafayette-Columbia County line.
Comments may be made to the Vicksburg District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attention: CEMVK-RD, 4155 Clay Street, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39183-3435.
The railroad seeks a permit to discharge dredged or fill material into U.S. waters, specifically, the bayou, which is part of the Bodcau Bayou drainage basin.
The permit request details plans for the project.
Presently, Bridge 380.22 consists of a 73-span, 854-foot long Timber Stringer Trestle-Ballast Deck (TST-BD). The proposed replacement structure consists of a 34-span, 838-foot long Prestressed Concrete Box (PCB) Girder (30-inches deep). The existing bridge substructure (timber piles) would be cut off near ground level and new H-piles would be driven into place via an off-track crane.
UPRR will gain access to the bridge from the northeast, utilizing an existing private access off U.S. 82. The private access is rocked and well maintained until it ends abruptly at seasonally flooded wetland.
At this location, UPRR is proposing for the construction of a new, 40-foot wide access road south to its right-of-way (ROW). Once the access road reaches UPRR's ROW, it would turn west and follow along the north side of the track to the bridge. The construction area north of the bridge would extend 75 feet north and 200 feet past both ends of the bridge, with the exception of the cypress wetland area which would be restricted to 50 feet.
The construction area south of the bridge would extend 50 feet south, 200 feet west of the west end of the bridge and 100 feet east of the east end of the bridge. This construction area size is required to provide enough space for construction equipment use and material staging.
Access to the bridge would require the use of a minimum maintenance road. This road would require improvements, including widening and placement of rock to allow for equipment to access the bridge. A 125-foot wide by 1,238-foot long construction area around the bridge is required which would allow for material staging and necessary equipment use throughout construction.
In order to access the entire length of the bridge, four temporary causeways would be utilized to cross the two waterways. Two temporary causeways would be required for each waterway (one on north side and one on south side of bridge).
These temporary causeways would be built using Type I rock riprap (9 to 14-inch diameter) and Corrugated Metal Pipe (CMP) culverts, which would maintain flow, to allow for aquatic life movements, throughout construction. The temporary causeways would result in temporary impacts to the waterways.
In order to replace the bridge, off-track access and construction methods are required. Approximately 8,000 cubic yards of rock riprap would be placed to maintain flow.
The vegetative communities within the wetland areas are Longspike tridens, Wool grass, Sedges, Common rush, Dwarf hairgrass, Dark green bulrush, Water oak, Sweet gum and Bald Cypress. Soils within the wetland areas consist of Sawyer silt loam and Guyton silt loam. The railroad proposes to mitigate for the unavoidable loss of impacts through a mitigation bank.
Any person may make a written request for a public hearing to consider this permit application. It must clearly state why a hearing is necessary. Failure of any agency or individual to comment on this notice would be interpreted to mean that there is no objection to the proposed work, the Corps said.