Soar Environmental joined our partners on the Caltrans Broadband Middle Mile Network (BMMN) project in District 10, Merced County, to perform necessary biological clearances for installing conduit and fiber to the right-of-way construction connect to a last-mile broadband infrastructure connecting homes and businesses with local networks. In conjunction with the State Department of Technology and Transportation, this initiative provides open access to state-owned high-capacity fiber lines that carry large amounts of data at higher speeds over longer distances between local networks. The State Highway system right-of-way will be used to lay conduit and fiber.
Our Biological Team was contracted to survey the 66-mile corridor from Highway 99 down the Highway 152 corridor to Interstate 5. Biologists surveyed for sensitive biological resources and potential state and federal permit triggers. In addition, communicated and assessed the effect of the broadband project on biological resources that cannot be avoided through design and minimization measures. As the Consultant, we performed field studies, including biological surveys, surveys for special-status species, botanical inventories, GIS habitat mapping, and avoidance mapping. In addition, we identified sensitive biological resource “hot spots” that could trigger state and federal permits. Reports undertaken were: Natural Environment Study Minimal Impacts, No Effect Determination Biological Memo, Section 10 application for the Army Corp of Engineers due to the project traversing the San Joaquin River, an Avoidance Area Report, and an Aquatic Resources Delineation.
Field studies, GIS mapping, Section 10 application, and report writing were successfully performed and professionally delivered to our partners throughout the three-month performance window.