Environmental

Below are some of our representative projects, sorted alphabetically.

Chelan County Natural Resources Department, Chumstick Creek Culvert Replacement

Skillings Connolly managed this project to remove fish barriers along Chumstick Creek in order to improve salmon and steelhead passage and habitat over a five-mile stretch.  The Chelan County Natural Resources Department (CCNRD) proposed this project as part of its ongoing effort to improve habitat for salmonid species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.  We developed the PS&E for new creek crossings and prepared permit applications for the removal and/or replacement of 17 crossings.  Permitting agencies included the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology), United State Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries.  The culvert replacements were permitted as 17 separate projects, with a design process optimized to help save time and expense.  In order to maximize engineering design efficiency, manufacturing, and construction, and to meet regulatory requirements, a standard design concept of a 28-foot, single-lane bridge was utilized.  This concept was then applied to each project site and adapted as needed to the specific features of each location, taking into account such characteristics as skew angle, optimal channel center location, etc.  Skillings Connolly then created three bid packages, which allowed for a staggered start for construction and further accelerated the work.  In addition to the schedule benefits, this approach gave local contractors an opportunity to bid by lowering the overall bonding amount that, in turn, led to lower prices.  The project, from start of site survey through substantial completion, including permitting, took less than one year.

Klickitat County On-Call
Environmental Services

 

Skillings Connolly has been providing on-call environmental services to the County since 2009.  Some of the task-orders have included:

Bristol, Tunnel and Courtney Roads BA, SEPA, Other Environmental Documentation, and Permitting:  Roadway improvements required work in, and around, wetlands.  Skillings Connolly provided wetland delineation and mitigation along the 2.5 mile project, including the creation of approximately 7,000 square feet of a new wetland area along Courtney Road that was proposed for mitigation.  Our mitigation plan included Large Woody Debris placement as well as native plantings.  Skillings Connolly assisted the Klickitat County Department of Public Works in providing road design for the improvement of the Bristol, Tunnel, and Courtney Roads.  A Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application (JARPA) was completed in order to comply with USACE permitting requirements.

Snowden Loop Road Stormwater Pre-Design Report, HPA, and SEPA:  The purpose of this Stormwater Predesign Report was to evaluate the existing drainage basin upstream of the 30-inch diameter CMP Culvert Crossing of Snowden Road. Basin stormwater flows were calculated to determine sizing of a new drainage system for conveying flows under the improved roadway section. The project consisted of widening the north-south roadway segment of Snowden Road, from Loop Road to the east-west segment of Snowden Road.  The purpose of the report was to evaluate two existing undersized culverts crossing under the north-south segment of Snowden Road that caused flooding and scour issues to adjacent properties. Two driveway culverts were also evaluated.

Crafton Road BA, Wetland Services, SEPA, Other Environmental Documentation and Permitting:  Skillings Connolly completed baseline evaluations of the stream and vicinity wetlands.  While the tributary was mapped as fish bearing, the existing crossing was undersized.  The older culvert, located at the headwater of the stream, was defined as a hardened stockpond that flows toward the road ditch system before crossing Crafton Road.  Working with the WDFW Habitat Biologist, it was determined that a fish passable culvert would be required.   Through documentation of the stream system, however, we were able to negotiate with WDFW to place a slightly smaller culvert that would still convey hydraulic flows but would not be so large as to require raising the road grade.  Raising the road grade would have resulted in additional impacts to the vicinity wetlands and the stream itself.  By working proactively with WDFW, a solution was derived that protected the County’s budget, yet improved fish passage and habitat.

Wahkiacus Heights Road Wetland Delineation, Western Gray Squirrel Survey, and Associated Reports:  Skillings Connolly completed an on-site survey for the presence of Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) and the associated Western Gray Squirrel (Sciurus griseus) along an unnamed tributary.   As a protected species, the stand of Garry Oak was evaluated for suitability for Western Gray Squirrel habitat. A wildlife survey report was submitted to the County and then reviewed by the WDFW. A semi-intact Garry Oak Savannah was observed, but it did not support a population of gray squirrels; therefore, a Habitat Management Plan was not prepared. In addition, wetlands associated with the creek were identified and characterized, and the boundaries delineated.

Orchard Heights Road Wetland Delineation, Western Gray Squirrel Survey, and Associated Reports:  In support of development along Southwick Lake, Skillings Connolly completed an on-site survey for the presence of Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) and the associated Western Gray Squirrel (Sciurus griseus).  As a protected species, the Oak Savannah was evaluated for suitability for Western Gray Squirrel habitat.  A wildlife survey report was prepared and submitted to the County, and reviewed by the WDFW.  In addition, wetlands associated with Southwick Lake were identified, characterized, and the boundaries delineated.

City of Lacey, Soil and Groundwater Testing

Skillings Connolly completed collection and analysis of soil and groundwater samples at 5700 Lacey Boulevard for the City of Lacey as part of their due diligence prior to purchase of the property.  The identification of lube oil range products triggered the need for additional sampling using a geoprobe unit.  It was determined that the soil was contaminated, but that the groundwater was not.  We also completed a Remedial Investigation Report and Terrestrial Ecological Evaluation (TEE) as part of the City’s enrollment in Ecology’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP).  This project included preparation of a Work Plan, additional subsurface investigation, and completion of a Feasibility Study for site remediation with a target of receiving an NFA designation

    • City of Olympia, 18th Avenue and Fones Road Corridor Improvement Project

The City of Olympia constructed two stormwater facilities (basins) to treat runoff from improved portions of 18th Avenue.  The basins were sited in areas constrained by critical area buffers.  The western basin was constrained by a buffer from a Class 2 kettle pond wetland.  The eastern basin was constrained by a stream buffer and associated wetland buffer.  To support functional improvements to the buffer area, Skillings Connolly completed land use permitting, biological assessment, wetland assessment, and a riparian enhancement PS&E to enhance habitat and provide a priority fish species protection.

  • Olympia Yacht Club Dredging and Pile Replacement

Using the Dredge Materials Management Program (DMMP) Guidelines, Skillings Connolly developed a dredge sampling and analysis plan for the Olympia Yacht Club to complete dredging operations within the yacht club boundaries.  We collected sediments samples, characterized any identified contamination, and determined dredging boundaries and disposal criteria.  Our team worked with the other regulatory agencies to secure all of the permits required for marina dredging.  Skillings Connolly prepared a bathymetric survey, engineering plans, specifications, and an estimate, as well as bid advertisement and award support. We also provided construction management for completion of dredge activities, utilizing an on-site inspector to ensure that the contractor followed the construction contract and met permit reporting requirements. Skillings Connolly worked with the Yacht Club to advertise for bids and select a contractor.

Montana Department of Transportation, US 93, Evaro to Polson

Skillings Connolly prepared feasibility/corridor study and preservation plans to complete roadway improvements in this environmentally- and culturally-sensitive area.  An aggressive public involvement campaign allowed this project to move forward in an efficient and timely manner.  The process facilitated MDT, FHWA, and Tribal involvement in preparation of design guidelines, traffic and safety analysis, and the review of 44 wildlife crossings on US 93.  Context-sensitive solutions were keys to the project’s success.  The result is a written Memorandum of Agreement that included the results of the corridor study and analysis, design criteria, lane configuration, design features, and mitigation measures.  Skillings Connolly also performed a LEDPA analysis and 404(b)(1) Evaluation in support of NEPA documentation and Corps permitting.  The project has received numerous awards, including FHWA’s Team Award for Excellence.  Skillings Connolly also provided right of way appraisal, acquisition, relocation services, and design management.

San Juan County, Cascade Creek Realignment at Buck Bay Bridge

Skillings Connolly completed a new channel design, TESC plans, and a hydraulic basis of design for previously unpermitted work in a fish-bearing stream that was causing significant scour to the Buck Bay Bridge. We provided a design and mitigation construction staging to Cascade Creek that was both cost effective and acceptable to Ecology.  Our design utilized the historic channel to create off-channel habitat within the project area, which provided mitigation on the project site and reduced project costs.  Construction staging plans were designed to minimize impacts to sensitive areas and the traveling public.  It was critical for design, permitting, and construction to be completed in 3.5 months from Notice-to-Proceed to meet the in-water work window, because the stream scour of the existing bridge abutments make them unable to last through the next storm season.

Washington Department of Natural Resources, Elk River Parking and Boat Launch

As part of an on-call contract, Skillings Connolly completed a feasibility study and conceptual plans for a motorized boat launch, parking, and access road at the Elk River Natural Resource Conservation Area. This 5,300 acre site is protected for salt marshes and significant wildlife habitat, so the major design concern was evaluation of the waterfront in order to minimally impact the natural forest, wetland, and shoreline functions present on the sites.  Considerations in selecting the preferred site included safe access to the boat launch, overall possible uses by the public, as well as the cost of project construction and maintenance of the new facility.  Other important factors included access control and security.  The increased public access to publicly-owned waters provided by this project will facilitate recreational use of small trailered boats.  This new water access facility will support activities such as fishing, hunting, sightseeing, and nature study, as well as kayaking.

Multiple design configurations were completed in an effort to avoid impacts to marbled murrelet and associated critical habitat, and avoid potential cultural resources identified along the beach front.  Multiple parking lot configurations were also developed, with each option balancing user needs against potential environmental impacts.

Washington Department of Natural Resources, Fish-Passage Design and Construction: Winston Block Culvert Replacements

Due to significant timber harvest activities, two fish-barrier culverts needed replacement within Winston Block, managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).  Skillings Connolly prepared the PS&E for replacement of fish passage barriers with 22-foot open bottom arch culverts, which provided a crossing structure that did not impede stream flows.  Stream flow volumes were determined using the Rational Method, allowing the culverts to be sized to accommodate the 100-year storm event.  Culvert widths were based on the design standards outlined in WDFW’s Design of Road Culverts for Fish Passage.  One of the crossings also included design of a retaining wall and two wing walls to capture the flows from two tributaries that reached their confluence at the culvert.  By providing wing walls at the upstream end of the culvert, the potential for scour was minimized.  Design also included streambed enhancement, which involved designing a channel with an eight percent grade on one of the crossings.  Our design team worked with WDFW to develop a streambed gravel mix to provide fish habitat that will not wash away during high flows on these high gradient streams. Skillings Connolly completed all of the environmental documentation and permitting for this project in addition to managing design.