Case Studies

Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project

The Calladium Group supported Amtrak and the prime consultant in preparation of an environmental assessment (EA) for the Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Project, located along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor between the City of Havre de Grace and the Town of Perryville, Maryland. The EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As the recipient of a federal high-speed rail grant, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) was the project sponsor for the NEPA and preliminary engineering phase, and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) served as the lead federal agency. The existing bridge is located in an area rich with historic, aesthetic, and natural resources with approaches in two established residential communities.

Together with the NEPA team, the firm completed comprehensive analyses of the project’s effects on wetlands, forested areas, aquatic species, historic districts, visual effects, and much more.  The Calladium Group was responsible for preparation of many of the EA analyses, including compliance with Section 6(f) of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act and Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Act. The Calladium Group led an extensive public outreach and agency coordination program—entailing multiple public information sessions, Section 106 consulting party meetings, and presentations at Maryland’s Interagency Review Meetings, which resulted in successfully obtaining written agency concurrence at several key project milestones, including alternatives development and screening. The NEPA phase culminated in the signing of a Programmatic Agreement (PA) and issuance of Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in 2017.

NJ TRANSITGRID Traction Power System

The Calladium Group supported the prime consultant in the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on behalf of NJ Transit. The project is known as “NJ TRANSITGRID Traction Power System,” a first-of-its-kind electrical microgrid capable of supplying highly reliable power during storms and other times when the centralized power grid is compromised. The project will consist of a central natural gas power plant and transmission lines, and provide a resilient energy supply for a targeted portion of railroad infrastructure. The project is a result of a partnership between NJ Transit, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE), and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

The Calladium Group was initially retained for technical editing services, and was subsequently engaged for a larger role—performing a comprehensive NEPA consistency review; supplementing environmental analyses (including visual and aesthetic resources, electromagnetic fields, land use, community facilities, and a Section 4(f) evaluation); overseeing a substantial historic architectural and archaeological resources investigation pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act; and leading agency coordination. A combined Final EIS and Record of Decision (ROD) was issued in 2020.

Long Island Rail Road Expansion Project – Floral Park to Hicksville

The Calladium Group supported the delivery of preliminary engineering and environmental services to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority–Long Island Rail Road (MTA-LIRR) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), including preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) in accordance with the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The project includes a new third track, elimination of eight at-grade crossings, ADA-compliant station upgrades, modifications to bridges, new substations, and other improvements along a 10-mile corridor of the LIRR Main Line. The firm’s original tasks entailed: preparing EIS chapters; technical editing of engineering reports and memoranda; liaising between the public outreach team, environmental team, and engineering team to ensure timely and accurate information exchange; incorporating community commitments and mitigation measures into contract documents; and synthesizing, summarizing, and responding to more than 1,500 public comments.

The Calladium Group is continuing to play a key role during the design-build phase of the project, spearheading a unprecedently robust community outreach program through five villages and four hamlets in Nassau County, NY.   The firm’s role includes coordinating with elected officials, developing and implementing an innovative design-builder incentive program, creating STEM partnerships with adjacent school districts, and issuing construction notifications to customers and communities. The Calladium Group is involved in every facet of outreach, including creating website content, responding to community comments, and engaging with impacted residents. Several of the project’s innovative outreach initiatives have been profiled in regional media outlets.

New York City Department of City Planning Jerome Avenue Rezoning

The New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) proposed a series of land use actions including zoning map amendments, zoning text amendments, and city map changes in support of various plans and studies for the Jerome Avenue neighborhood in the Bronx, New York. The Calladium Group supported the prime consultant in preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the 73-block rezoning area, which spans multiple neighborhoods and community districts. The EIS was prepared in accordance with the New York City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) methodologies. The firm was responsible for several technical analyses, including public health, construction, and a very complex assessment of the project’s impacts to community facilities. This assessment entailed a multi-district school capacity evaluation, along with detailed studies of the project’s potential impacts to health care facilities, library services, police and fire services. The Calladium Group also provided technical editing services on behalf of the project team. In January 2018, New York City DCP released a Notice of Completion for a Final EIS and in March 2018, the New York City Council adopted the proposed map and text amendments.

Sawtooth Bridges Replacement Project

Amtrak is proposing the replacement of the Sawtooth Bridges, which carries the Northeast Corridor over NJ Transit’s Morris & Essex Line, the PATH Newark-World Trade Center Line, and the former Conrail Center Street Branch. The aging bridges are nearing the end of their functional life, and their two speed-restricted tracks limit the efficiency and reliability of rail operations along this critical rail segment. The primary purpose of the Sawtooth Bridges Replacement Project is to enhance resiliency and provide continued connectivity along the Northeast Corridor.

As a key member of the project team, The Calladium Group led the preparation of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation and played an integral role in managing compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, including coordination with consulting parties and the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office (NJHPO). The NEPA studies included detailed analyses of natural resources, wetlands, floodplains, historic and archaeological resources, contaminated materials, land use, transportation, and more. The firm also served as a liaison between the environmental and engineering teams to ensure timely information exchange and development of implementable mitigation measures. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in 2020.