Maryland Transportation Authority (MDOT MDTA) completed a multi-year $1.08B highway improvement project on Interstate 95 north of Baltimore, MD which includes the addition of approximately 8 miles of Express Toll Lanes (ETLs). Straughan has been responsible for preparing environmental permit applications and coordinating agency reviews for all phases of the highway design and construction, tracking environmental impacts, providing recommendations to designers for avoiding or minimizing impacts, and organizing and conducting public outreach efforts in support of the project.
Early in the project, we worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to develop an innovative permitting approach that would support the project’s ambitious schedule without compromising the permitting agencies’ responsibilities to safeguard environmental resources.
Straughan also has supported extensive investigatory and design work for the 183-acre White Marsh Run Mitigation Site used by MDTA to offset unavoidable impacts to streams and wetlands resulting from the I-95 ETLs project. At the White Marsh Run site, Straughan conducted environmental studies, developed stream restoration designs for an 11,000-foot reach of White Marsh Run, and developed and is currently implementing a post-construction monitoring plan for the mitigation site.
Straughan led public outreach efforts for 10 years during project planning and construction. Throughout the project, Straughan provided dedicated staff to carry out public outreach efforts for this complex project which required on-going communications with local community groups, drivers using the highway, and neighborhoods and businesses affected by the construction activities. We developed a Public Outreach Plan and a project outreach matrix, tailored PowerPoint presentations, environmental awareness events, and specialized publications to explain complex environmental issues.