The FHWA, Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFLHD), in cooperation with VDOT and the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Belvoir made improvements to approximately a 3.5-mile section of U.S. Route 1 between Telegraph Road (Route 611) and Mount Vernon Memorial Highway (Route 235) in Fairfax County, Virginia. Straughan was responsible for performing the Type I traffic noise analysis for 14 Common Noise Environments (CNE’s) and the mitigation analysis of 5 traffic noise barrier systems in this design/build project.
This task included the review and evaluation of the Environmental Assessment technical report, the development and distribution of the property owner contact letters, simultaneous short-term noise measurements with traffic data collection, TNM analysis using Entrada traffic data, and technical documentation. Straughan performed traffic noise barrier designs which included a constructability assessment minimizing the impact to multiple existing underground and overhead utilities, safety and maintenance considerations, and optimization of the barrier length and profiles. As the lead noise technical advisor, Straughan participated in meetings with homeowner associations and noise public workshops for facilitating the voting process for the approval of the construction of the noise barriers by the benefited property owners and residents. Straughan created displays, brochures, and FAQ Sheets, as well as participated in the Public Meetings. Of the 5 noise barriers analyzed and considered for construction, 3 moved forward for design and construction where Straughan was responsible for contributing to the final noise barrier horizontal alignment and profile design.
For the Environmental Assessments and permitting, Straughan worked with the project owner, designer, regulatory and resource agencies, and other stakeholders, to design a project that minimized impacts to wetlands and waters of the U.S to the extent practicable. This included compiling documentation for the Joint Permit Application (JPA) submitted to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) which consisted of documenting rare, threatened, and endangered species coordination, documenting VDEQ Coastal Zone Management (CZM) coordination, preparing necessary impact plates required, documenting avoidance and minimization efforts, documenting Historical Resource coordination, and conceptual mitigation plan preparation. This resulted in Straughan securing an individual permit authorization by the VDEQ Virginia Water Protection (VWP) for impacts to surface waters and wetlands. As well as securing permit authorization from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) for encroachment in, or over State-owned subaqueous bottoms. Straughan also coordinated with USACE and VDEQ to secure wetland and stream mitigation bank credits for impacts within the coastal plain of the Potomac River watershed.