Providing program management for the Oregon Department of Transportation's
OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program


Environmental Baseline Reports

Environmental baseline data were collected for each bridge and bridge site in the OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program. These data were grouped and summarized in a series of environmental baseline reports. These reports are intended to:

  • help project design teams develop alternatives that meet the programmatic performance standards of the OTIA III program, thereby avoiding and/or minimizing environmental impacts of bridge construction activities;
  • aid in the development of the regulatory compliance strategy and mitigation program; and
  • help refine the cost and schedule estimates for bridge repair / replacement.

It is important to note the following:

  • The baseline report does not necessarily constitute a complete environmental evaluation of a particular bridge site. As the name implies, the report provides baseline environmental information. Design teams will need to complete additional environmental assessment(s) to ensure that bridge designs meet OTIA III performance standards and to verify site conditions. Contractors will be responsible for the conditions at each site.
  • The baseline report is descriptive, not prescriptive. It provides information about environmental conditions at bridge sites, along with preliminary indications of the environmental concerns, permits and approvals, and construction restrictions that may be in effect at those sites. It does not prescribe or recommend particular actions to address those concerns and restrictions.
  • The baseline reports do not satisfy regulatory permitting requirements, it is intended to provide preliminary information to incorporate and cite in the completion of regulatory requirements.

How are environmental baseline reports organized?

Each baseline environmental report contains data for a number of bridges. Generally these bridges are all located along one section of a major transportation corridor, in closely related USGS watersheds and subbasins. This organization facilitates, and is consistent with, the programmatic structure and goals of the OTIA III program. However:

  • In some reports, bridges may be dispersed over a rather wide geographic area.
  • The grouping of bridges for the environmental baseline reports is not the same as ODOT’s grouping of bridges for purposes of programmatic design and construction bidding (i.e. bundles).

Each environmental baseline report is organized into the following chapters and sections.

  1. Overview describes the project background and purpose of the baseline reports. It also includes general information about the bridges and sites covered in this report: general description and climate and hydrology overviews of the relevant USGS watershed(s) and subbasin(s), general locations of the bridges, and tables that summarize general information (highway location, feature crossing, etc.) and environmental conditions for the bridge sites.
  2. Project Methods describes data collection and analysis methods used for each discipline included in this report.
  3. Individual Bridge Reports contains a section for each bridge that details the data and on-site findings and summaries of potential permits and potential construction restrictions for the bridge site. Each individual bridge report includes the following sections:
    1. General Conditions - Summarizes the bridge site location and gives an overview of the environmental concerns identified at the bridge site. This section includes a topographical map of the site and an aerial photo of the site showing major features and environmental factors that were located using GPS.
    2. Air Quality - Summarizes the requirements for air quality control for the site.
    3. Archaeology - Summarizes surface archaeological surveys of the project area. Documents the presence or likelihood of archaeological sites or buried, culturally sensitive deposits.

      NOTE Archaeological information in environmental baseline reports is limited to general findings, and additional work has been completed and is available for each bridge. The precise location and description of buried archaeological remains is considered sensitive information but is available to qualified personnel on a need-to-know basis. All projects should review available archaeological reports in order to complete cultural resources permitting. To obtain archaeological reports, please fill out and submit the confidentiality agreement / request form and submit to the appropriate Design Coordinator. Please contact OBDP for further information.

    4. Biological Resources - Summarizes the results of biological surveys.
      NOTE Contractors need to also check the Biological Assessment to determine which T&E species must be addressed in the PCA.
      1. Terrestrial and wildlife resources. Includes overviews of major Johnson and O’Neil habitat types; lists the documented and potential presence of terrestrial and avian species under regulatory oversight.
      2. Aquatic resources. Includes overviews of the aquatic resources within the project area and lists the documented or potential presence of aquatic species under regulatory control.
      3. Botanical resources. Includes the results of surveys for ODA-listed plant species, including rare plants and noxious weeds.

        NOTE The precise location of protected plant species is considered sensitive information and is available to qualified personnel on a need-to-know basis. If your project site contains, or is likely to contain protected plant species, contact the appropriate OBDP Design Coordinator. Also note that surveys were not conducted for bridges in Stages 3-5 during the environmental baseline report effort.

    5. Hazardous materials - Provides information on database searches and site reconnaissance of potential hazardous material sites and the nature of the materials documented at that site.
    6. Historic and cultural resources - Summarizes the presence and status of all known historic structures within the Area of Potential Effect (APE) for this bridge site.
    7. Land Use - Contains information about city and county land use designations for this site, and the land use permits/or exceptions that may be required.

      NOTE Land use regulations may include county and/or city restrictions. Land use permits are not covered under the OTIA III programmatic permits.

    8. Noise - Characterizes the sensitive noise receptors (SNRs) within the Area of Potential Impact (API) for this site, relevant noise regulations in effect at the site, and potential permits or variances that might be required

      NOTE Noise regulations may include local noise restrictions. Noise permits are not covered under OTIA III programmatic permits.

    9. 4(f) / 6(f) resources - Summarizes the resources within the project area that may be subject to 4(f) or 6(f) provisions. If the project area includes resources potentially subject to 4(f) or 6(f) restrictions, further evaluation will be required.
    10. Socioeconomic - Lists relevant census data for U. S. Census Bureau 2000 census tract, block groups, and blocks that intersect the project area; documents the potential presence of minority and/or low-income communities that may be affected by activity at the bridge site.
    11. Water quality and floodplains
      1. Water quality - Locates the bridge site in relation to waters of the state, specifically, in relation to those waters that are on the state’s 303(d) list for substandard water quality. Gives a comprehensive view of water quality concerns at this bridge site.
      2. Floodplains - Details information about the 100-year floodplain near this site, when this information is available. Establishes whether floodplain issues might be a concern at this site.
    12. Wetlands - Documents wetlands mapped by Salmon Resources and Sensitive Area Mapping (SRSAM) and National Wetlands Inventory (NWI), as well as any wetlands observed on-site, and lists waters of the state and / or U.S. that may be affected by project activities. Summarizes the potential regulatory status of field-observed wetlands and waters of the state and / or U. S.

      NOTE Bridge activities that may impact wetlands will require these wetlands to be delineated. If wetlands are present at the site that were not delineated, additional assessment will be required to meet the terms of the OTIA III performance standards.

    13. Visual and Aesthetics - Summarizes any visual or aesthetic issues associated with this bridge site. Includes the location of the site in relation to scenic areas, etc.
    14. Permits required - Summarizes potential approvals and/or permits that may be required and potential standard construction restrictions for construction activities at this bridge site.

      This section contains preliminary information, only. In many cases, further on-site assessment will be required to determine the permits and approvals required for a specific project site. In addition, local permits must be addressed on a site-by-site basis.

  4. References includes citations and links to electronic spatial data and written or personal communications cited in the text.
  5. Appendices include various technical reports, data sources, and photographs that were developed or collected for the bridges in this report. These include, when available:
    • Wetland delineation reports
    • Air quality attainment table
    • Environmental records search reports
    • GIS data sources
    • Paint laboratory results of tests for lead-based paint
    • Aerial, historic resource, and site visit photos
    • Species descriptions for noxious weeds, terrestrial wildlife, and rare plants

How do I access the environmental baseline reports?

Contact OTIA III Environmental Manager Shelley Richards ((503) 587-3611) at for specific baseline reports.

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