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6-knot speed limit now being enforced in the area of the Nice/Middleton Bridge
Nice Middleton Bridge
Lt. Governor's Visit to the Nice Middleton Bridge Project
6-knot speed limit now being enforced in the area of the Nice/Middleton Bridge
Nice Middleton Bridge
Lt. Governor's Visit to the Nice Middleton Bridge Project

Nice/Middleton Bridge Project - Environment


In designing and constructing the New Nice/Middleton Bridge, a top priority of the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is protecting the environment. With MDTA oversight and by using environmentally sensitive technologies and construction practices, Skanska-Corman-McLean (the Design-Build Contractor) is working diligently to reduce environmental impacts on plants and wildlife in the vicinity of the New Nice/Middleton Bridge and beyond.

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Protecting the Environment

Environmental commitments and permit conditions being implemented to protect the sensitive natural resources associated with the project include but are not limited to:

  • Delineating and maintaining limits of disturbance to minimize the project’s impacts to the surrounding environment
  • Ensuring proper erosion and sediment controls are in place and maintained
  • Stabilizing disturbed areas not under active grading
  • Implementing protection measures for forests and trees
  • Maintaining control of airborne particles through implementation of a dust control plan
  • Implementing a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plan and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan
  • Adhering to time-of-year restrictions for work in the Potomac River that includes providing a 2,400 contiguous linear-foot zone of safe fish passage
  • Adhering to time-of-year and time-of-day restrictions to avoid and minimize impacts to terrestrial and aquatic species including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, osprey, northern long-eared bats, rainbow snakes, and Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon
  • Deploying turbidity curtains for river bottom disturbing activities
  • Using best management practices for pile driving including deploying bubble curtains in the main channel when driving 66” precast piles and utilizing low energy starts for all piles to  disperse fish prior to high energy pile driving operations
  • Performing in-stream water quality monitoring throughout construction

Approvals and Permits

Numerous environmental approvals and construction permits are associated with the project. These include:

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 authorization (Baltimore and Norfolk Districts)
  • Maryland Board of Public Works Tidal Wetlands License
  • Maryland Department of the Environment Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Permit
  • Maryland and Virginia issued Section 401 Water Quality Certifications
  • King George County Wetlands Tidal License
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources Critical Area Commission Approval
  • Biological Assessment for Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon
  • Section 106 Programmatic Agreement for Cultural Resources
  • USCG Section 9 Bridge Permit

Environmental Planning Studies

The MDTA completed project planning studies for the Nice/Middleton Bridge Improvement Project, which identified alternate solutions to transportation issues at the existing Nice/Middleton Bridge, evaluated environmental and community impacts of the alternatives, and gathered public and permitting agency input on the project. The study team coordinated with regulatory agencies to develop the project’s environmental documents (see links below). The Finding of No Significant Impact was  approved by the Federal Highway Administration on November 27, 2012.