The proposed work consists of upgrading the existing I-95 corridor from 0.57 mile southwest of MM 0 at the Georgia-South Carolina state line to 1.07 miles north of MM 8 in South Carolina. The project extends from Effingham County in Georgia to Jasper County in South Carolina. The project includes adding an additional travel lane in each direction and matching the typical section in Georgia. The additional lane is proposed to be constructed within the existing median. Additional construction activities include clearing parts of the median for safety improvements, installing barrier walls and cable barriers, installing guardrail, improving drainage, making minor improvements at Exit 5, improving operations for the Exit 8 interchange and ramps, as well as replacing and widening the I-95 mainline dual bridges over the Savannah River, Savannah Overflow, Sand Island Swamp, and CSX Railroad. The SC 141/John Smith Road bridge over I-95 would also be replaced on its existing alignment. A portion of SC 141/John Smith Road between Pine Arbor Road and McTeer Street would be closed during construction. During the closure, SC 141/John Smith Road traffic would utilize a detour route along US Highway 278 (US 278) and US Highway 17 (US 17). The proposed detour route is approximately 2.8 miles in length and would be required for approximately 18 months during the replacement of the Johns Smith Road bridge.
In detail, the proposed project would impact 646 linear feet (0.290 acre) of streams/tributaries, 0.49 acres of ponds, and 35.772 acres of wetlands. The proposed project would impact two streams (Streams 6 and 9) and include 584 linear feet (lf) (0.262 acre) of permanent fill. This stream fill would be partially offset by 374 lf (0.102 acre) of equivalent channel relocated adjacent to the current stream with equivalent functionality. The remaining 62 lf of stream impacts result from temporary geomorphological impacts at construction tie-ins. Impacts to 59 freshwater wetlands would include 17.896 acres of permanent cut/fill, 8.283 acres of permanent clearing, 0.076 acre of permanent ditching, 4.344 acres of temporary clearing, 1.020 acres of temporary fill, and 4.153 acres of temporary bridge construction access (BCA); please see Appendix D, Sheets 1 through 37. At the proposed temporary bridge construction access areas outlined on the permit sheets, timber mats would be specified for use in wetland areas, and either barges or work trestles would be used for construction access in the Savannah River.
The impacts to WOTUS associated with the project would result from: the widening and roadway improvements of I-95 and associated bridge replacements; the relocation of Frontage Road at Exit 5; and the Exit 8 interchange improvements. This includes the placement of fill and riprap, as well as the construction of new drainage pipes and the replacement of existing pipes.