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MD 216 Relocated between US 29 and I-95

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The Project

Environmental Summary

The streams located adjacent to the project include the Hammond Branch stream and its unnamed tributaries, which are within the Patuxent River Sub-Basin. The alignment will not cross Hammond Branch, but will require five new crossings of unnamed tributaries and will impact approximately 4 acres of the 100-year floodplain associated with the stream. The proposed alignment will also impact approximately 2 acres of non-tidal wetlands. Coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicates that no Federally listed threatened or endangered species are located in the project area.

The current design of relocated MD 216 will impact approximately 8 acres of Prime Farmland Soils and approximately 14 acres of Soils of Statewide Importance. No agriculturally zoned lands will be impacted by the current design. Approximately 35 wooded acres will be impacted by the currently proposed alignment.

No residential or commercial displacements are anticipated with the current design. Air quality and noise analyses are currently being updated for the proposed six-lane roadway. Previous coordination with the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) indicates that the four-lane roadway will have no effect on historic properties or archeological resources. Coordination is ongoing with MHT to update the investigation of historic resources to include the current six-lane roadway.

Proposed Stream Enhancements

Environmental enhancements along the Hammond Branch will be included in the project as mitigation for the projectís stream impacts. Areas of the Hammond Branch, located to the north of the relocated roadway, will be stabilized. The enhancements to the stream will extend from east of Crest Road to east of Leishear Road. Possible methods of stabilization include rock veins downstream from the box culvert under Leishear Road and the relocation of one area of the stream between Crest Road and Leishear Road. Bank stabilization using bioengineering techniques is proposed in selected areas. The removal of existing MD 216 roadway east of Leishear Road and the grading of the old roadway embankment is proposed to extend the Hammond Branch 100-year-floodplain by approximately 2.3 acres. Where opportunities exist, riparian buffer plantings will be incorporated along Hammond Branch. The stream enhancement measures will reduce erosion, improve habitat, increase channel stability, and improve aquatic habitat in the Hammond Branch..

Proposed Compensatory Wetland Mitigation

The proposed wetland creation site, currently under design, is located adjacent to the Middle Patuxent River and has access off of MD 144 near the intersection of MD 32 in West Friendship, Howard County. The proposed site is located within the same larger watershed as the MD 216 project impacts. Over 6 acres of wetland creation and enhancement will be provided along the terraces and floodplain of the Middle Patuxent River as mitigation for impacts to both the relocated MD 216 project and the nearby US 29/Hopkins-Gorman Road interchange project. The West Friendship Wetland Mitigation Site will provide several functions and values, including improved water quality, sediment stabilization, and wildlife habitat.

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