Mussel Habitat Survey for Bridge Replacement on the Spring River
I-44 Bridge Mussel Habitat Survey
A proposed bridge replacement along Interstate 44 near Newton, Lawrence County, Missouri, was going to impact the Spring River. The waterway is designated as critical habitat for two endangered freshwater mussel species, the Neosho mucket (Lampsilis rafinesqueana) and the rabbit’s foot (Quadrula cylindrica cylindrica). On behalf of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) CMT’s environmental team conducted a habitat survey for mussels along 150 meters of stream in the Spring River.
CMT’s federally permitted malacologist led a timed search survey using cells throughout the 150-meter survey area. A total of 24 cells were searched and all substrates were examined by snorkeling.
No mussels, evidence of mussels, or suitable mussel habitat were identified during the survey. The CMT environmental team authored a report, developed mapping, and created a photo log for MoDOT and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). As a result of the survey data collected, no additional mussel surveys were required, allowing the bridge project to progress on time. The project had an extremely tight timeline in order to keep the project on schedule. The notification to proceed, habitat survey plan development and approval, fieldwork, mussel habitat survey report, and USFWS approval all occurred within several weeks.