General Field Reviews - photos, sketches, etc.
This effort may be required for developing the engineering design or determining the potential environmental impact of the project. Field crew members may need to enter private property to capture some details but would not cause any disturbance.
Members of regulatory agencies will conduct field surveys to examine various aspects of the project. In general, only a visual review of the project area and its possible environmental impacts would be required. To complete the review, the regulatory agencies may need to enter private property and there might be some minor disturbances, similar to what is required for wetland investigations.
Archeological investigations will require a visual survey of public and private properties in areas with possible archeological resources. Typically, these areas include undeveloped lands that have been undisturbed by grading or building. Small soil tests may be taken, any disturbed soil would be replaced and, if in a grassed area, re-seeded. Should any disturbance of a greater magnitude be required the property owner will be contacted directly.
Architectural investigations involve a visual survey of potential historic buildings for architectural characteristics. Photographs of the building will be needed. The examination may require entering private property in order to review building features, but would not involve any disturbance. Should a more detailed review be required the property owner will be contacted directly for permission to survey the interior of the building.
Forest Delineations and Species Survey
This survey involves visual inspection of the forest and terrestrial wildlife habitat which may require entering private property. Variables such as tree diameter and canopy height will be measured. A survey for specific plant or animal species may be undertaken to determine if rare, threatened or endangered species are present. Temporary survey flagging strips may be attached to vegetation.
Hazardous Materials Investigations/Surveys
This survey involves visual inspection to determine whether issues of environmental concern are present in the study area. During the field inspection, records maintained by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Maryland Department of Environment will be confirmed. The field inspection will involve entering private property but would not involve any disturbances to the property. If additional information is necessary, the team may interview property owners to better understand potential issues.
This activity involves establishing a small noise monitoring device on a tripod. A technician will record noise data. The technician may enter private property during the monitoring, but there will be no disturbance to the property. The data recording takes approximately one hour. In some cases, 24-hour noise monitoring may be necessary. In cases of extended monitoring on private property, the property owner will be notified directly.
Stream and Floodplain Surveys
Stream and floodplain surveys involve taking measurements to determine stream health and size/capacity of floodplains. Field crews may need to enter private property, but no physical disturbance would occur.
Wetland investigations require examination of soil, water and vegetation characteristics. If wet conditions are present on public or private property, a wetland boundary may need to be identified. This involves taking small soil samples (3 inch diameter by 18 inches deep) at locations along the wetland edge. Any holes in the soil created by field personnel will be refilled. Temporary survey flagging strips may be attached to vegetation, but no vegetation would be trimmed or removed.
Drilling will be necessary to extract 2-inch diameter soil or pavement samples at various depths in order to better understand subsurface conditions of soil, rock and groundwater along the entire CCT project corridor. Prior to the start of this work, as required by law, Miss Utility will be notified to mark the locations of known public utilities in the vicinity of the work zone. The utility markings are temporary and are required to be maintained for the duration of the field work. Minor traffic disruptions, such as parking restrictions and some travel lanes closures should be expected while a drill rig is working in these areas. Sounds associated with the equipment should be no louder than the sound of an idling diesel truck. Commuters and pedestrians should watch for changing traffic patterns. Once the field studies have been completed parking and travel lanes will be returned to normal.
Property surveys will be conducted to pinpoint property lines. Crews will perform surveys to identify corners and monuments of properties to set the right of way and property lines. Field crews may need to enter private property, to identify property lines and find the monuments that indicate the property corners. Any earth disturbance needed to find the property monuments will be filled by the survey crews.
Structures Field Survey
Field crews will identify the various structures including bridges and large culverts along the CCT corridor. This will involve a visual inspection of each structure to verify its location and the type of structure. Field crew members may need to enter private property to capture some details but would not cause any disturbance.
Survey crews will verify the topography of the CCT corridor in areas where more details of the ground and various features are needed for the design of the CCT. Features may include curbs, sidewalks, manhole covers, fire hydrants, trees and vegetation. Field crew members may need to enter private property to capture some details but would not cause any disturbance.
Traffic Analysis Field Activities
The traffic analysis teams will verify traffic signals, lighting and Intelligent Transportation Systems:
- Signal equipment locations including the cabinet, signal poles, pedestrian pedestal poles, handholes, signal heads, and detection (loop and video). The location of the power feed (from the transformer on a utility pole) will also be confirmed.
- Roadway lighting equipment locations by traveling the entire proposed alignment confirming the location of each roadway lighting pole and all associated equipment, such as handboxes, metered service pedestals, and power feeds (transformers). The workers will also verify the pole height, wattage, and lamp type. This is done through visual observation of a sticker, typically near the luminaire.
- Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) / Communications device locations including CCTV cameras, red light cameras, speed cameras, etc
- Field workers will also take pictures of the associated equipment. Measuring utility heights through either a teleheight or a measuring rod may also be required. Maintaining a safe distance away from the utility lines is required, so workers may need to step onto private property if the public right of way is small.
Additionally, the traffic teams will review existing traffic volume and conditions, speeds, and travel time:
- Traffic counts, including installation of count hardware (road tubes, sensors, etc.) and/or manual counts with on-site staff. Traffic counts may involve staff parked in unmarked personal vehicles, in which case they will display signing indicating "Traffic Count in Progress" or similar messaging.
- Speed studies utilizing fixed radar monitoring stations.
- Travel time measurements conducted with drivers on fixed routes for multiple runs along the same route in order to obtain average travel times. Drivers will either maintain pace with traffic or drive as close as possible to the speed limit. Travel time measurements will mostly be limited to public (i.e. not neighborhood) roads.
- Observations of traffic conditions, including photographic and video recording.
- Other activities in support of field data collection or traffic analysis as necessary, including tape & wheel measurements, work within traffic signal cabinets, short-term traffic control, etc.
The utility test hole work will be performed using non-destructive (air vacuum) methods. MTA will provide a Right-of-Entry (ROE) Agreement for test holes to be conducted on private property, and property owners will be notified in advance of the work. Approximate test hole locations will be staked using GPS and coordinates provided by the design team. Miss Utility will be requested to mark the existing utilities in the vicinity of the proposed test holes, and the field crew will use electronic equipment to verify these locations prior to conducting the test hole work. After the existing underground utility lines have been located, each test hole will be backfilled and the area restored. All holes in the pavement will be patched. Actual horizontal and vertical location data for each underground utility line will be noted in a report for each test hole.
Water Resources Field Activities
Field teams performing Stormwater Management (SWM) and Drainage assessments will verify the locations of the SWM facilities and the drainage area delineation. The locations of the existing inlets, pipe outfall locations and drainage ditches will be confirmed. In addition to taking photos some activities may involve taking measurements, opening manhole covers and inlet grates which will be closed immediately after verification before the team leaves the site.