Wetland Mitigation and Restoration

Project Title: Southern New Jersey Light Rail Transit System Mitigation
Project Client: Bechtel Construction Company
Sponsor: New Jersey Transit
Project Location: Trenton to Camden, Camden, Burlington and Mercer Counties, New Jersey

The Southern New Jersey Light Rail Transit System (SNJLRTS) has been constructed between Camden and Trenton, NJ, a distance of 34 miles. Construction of the diesel-powered system included construction of a second rail and rehabilitation of the right-of-way (ROW), bridge construction and rehabilitation, and construction of 3 park and ride locations along the alignment. The project alignment crosses and adjoins vegetated wetlands, open water, and forested habitats. Mitigation for wetland/open water impacts was required by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Amy S. Greene Environmental Consultants, Inc. (ASGECI) was contracted to implement the final wetland mitigation program, which included final mitigation plan design, construction oversight and pre/post-construction monitoring at wetland mitigation sites along the light rail alignment in Camden, Burlington and Mercer Counties.

ASGECI provided wetland mitigation final design services for the three mitigation sites. Tasks included preparation of the Grading Plan, Planting Plan, Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Plan; Details and Notes and Final Conditions. ASGECI also performed pre-construction (3 sites), construction, and post-construction monitoring tasks (2 sites). All field assessments were completed in accordance with the conditions of the NJDEP and USACE permits (Section 404). The following is a brief description of each of the two SNJLRTS mitigation constructed projects:

Wetland Mitigation Site #1 is located adjacent to the SNJLRT alignment in the Town of Riverside. The Site is bordered by Rancocas Creek to the north and is an existing wetland area specified for enhancement by removal of Phragmites from a 3.15-acre freshwater tidal wetland. The enhancement included replanting of specific areas with a diversity of emergent plant species. The Site was constructed in spring 2001, through excavation of channels and grading to appropriate depths. The hydrology for final design was determined by performing a month of tidal monitoring using a TROLL 4000 data recorder in a channel adjacent to the Site. Herbicide treatment with Rodeoâ to eradicate Phragmites onsite was performed in fall 2000 prior to site grading and a follow-up treatment was performed in fall 2001. The site was planted in spring 2002 and was monitored each year from 2002-2006.

Wetland Mitigation Site #2 is located adjacent to the SNJLRT alignment in the Township of Hamilton, within the New Jersey State Delaware & Raritan (D&R) Canal Park. The mitigation for Site #2 consisted of restoring tidal flows to the western most segment (3.28 acres) of the D&R Canal by installing a new, permanent culvert under the utility access road. The culvert installation was completed in summer 2001. Monitoring of fish utilization on either side of the culvert was performed pre and post-construction.

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