US Army Corps of Engineers
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19-0735 Plaquemines Parish

Published Feb. 10, 2020

Notice Pursuant to Federal Register (FR) Vol. 77, No. 222 to Use Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Program Comment for Common Post-1945 Concrete and Steel Bridges

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New Orleans District (CEMVN), is reviewing a request for permission to modify a USACE Project under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and codified in 33 U.S.C. 408 ("Section 408"). The project to be modified or altered is the New Orleans to Venice East Bank Hurricane Bank Levee (NOV-01), Phoenix to Bohemia Polder Levee System Reach C project in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The proposed modification is to fill nine (9) non-operational culverts at four (4) locations with lightweight grout to stabilize them in order to be permanently abandoned in place and maintain the integrity of the levee.

CEMVN has determined that the nine (9) culverts are subject to the Program Comment for Common Post-1945 Concrete and Steel Bridges enacted by the ACHP in concert with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and other agencies in Federal Register (FR) Vol. 77, No. 222 pp. 68790-68795. The ACHP issued the Program Comment to relieve all federal agencies from Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), as amended (54 U.S.C. § 300101 et seq.), requirement to consider the effects of undertakings on certain common bridges and culverts constructed of concrete or steel after 1945. As noted in Applicability Section III, "All federal agencies may take advantage of the streamlining provided by this Program Comment (p. 68794)." However, "Federal agencies may only use the Program Comment in states where the relevant FHWA Division has completed and filed a list of exceptional common bridges with the FHWA Federal Preservation Officer (FPO) in accordance with Section IV" (p. 68793). CEMVN has determined that the Louisiana Department of Transportation (LADOTD), the LA Division of FHWA, has completed and filed a list of exceptional common bridges/culverts that are exempt from the Program Comment (https://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/env_topics/historic_pres/bridges_list.aspx) and coordinated this with the LA State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

The Program Comment applies to specific types of common bridges and culverts constructed after 1945. The nine (9) culverts were constructed in 1968 and are common concrete pipe culverts identified in Program Comment Section V. (D). The culverts are considered well-documented standardized designs that lack individual distinction and are not subject to considerations under Section IV. The culverts are not listed in or have previously been determined eligible for the NRHP and are not located adjacent to or within a National Register listed or eligible historic district (Section IV (A)). Additionally, the culverts do not include arch bridges, truss bridges, bridges with movable spans, suspension bridges, cable-stayed bridges, or covered bridges (Section IV (B)). Further, the culverts are not identified on the Bridge Program Comment Excepted Bridges List (Section IV (C)). Therefore, the nine (9) culverts are exempt from consideration as part of the Section 106 process.

In addition to this single Section 408 review, CEMVN intends to use the Program Comment for Common Post-1945 Concrete and Steel Bridges, subject to its terms, for all applicable projects.

Comments and questions may be sent to Ms. Jill Enersen at the above address or by phone at (504)862-1741 or by email at Jill.A.Enersen@usace.army.mil.