Tri-County Parkway Location Study
Study PhasesThe Location Study will proceed in five phases. The TCP Location Study is currently in Phase 5:
(1) Scoping/Purpose & Need
(2) Alternatives Development
(3) Evaluation of Impacts/Technical and Environmental Studies
(4) Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Public Hearing
(5) Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision
Scoping/Purpose and Need (March 2002 - COMPLETE):
During this phase, the study scope and statement of the problem to be addressed are shared with the public, the study's Advisory and Technical Committees, and appropriate federal, state, regional and local agencies. The information and comments gathered during Phase l from the public and agencies help to define the purpose and need for the improvements, the range of alternatives to consider and the impacts and significant issues to be addressed in the EIS. Some of the data that will be collected as the study proceeds are: current and projected traffic volumes; preliminary environmental data; the ability of existing transportation systems to accommodate traffic in the future; safety conditions on existing roads, including the history and causes of accidents; and existing and future land use.
Scoping Meeting Summary (March 2002)
Alternatives Development (December 2002 - COMPLETE):
The goal of this phase is to identify alternatives that address the Purpose and Need for the study. The Study Team will gather and use technical data such as traffic counts, aerial mapping and environmental information identified during scoping, to develop a range of possible alignments, or alternatives. These alternatives will be screened through a more detailed environmental and technical analysis during Phase III.
Purpose and Need
Preliminary Alternatives Meeting Summary
Evaluation of Impacts/Technical & Environmental Studies
(January 2005 - COMPLETE)
The Study Team will refine the screened alternatives by including potential right-of-way, or land required. Detailed environmental studies are also conducted.
Alternatives Selected for Further Review
Top of Page
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)/Location
Public Hearings (May 2005 - COMPLETE)
Information developed during earlier phases is compiled into the DEIS. Once the DEIS is complete, a 45-day public comment period will follow. Location Public Hearings - one in each of the three counties in the study area - will be held for the public to review the environmental impacts and the proposed conceptual design of each alternative. Citizens will be invited and encouraged to comment on the DEIS and to give their opinions on the alternatives under consideration. Following the hearings and a review of the public comments received, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) will select an alternative to be implemented pending FHWA approval.
The DEIS will:
- Identify and explain the purpose of and need for the Tri-County Parkway.
- Describe the alternatives being considered.
- Identify the environmental consequences of each alternative.
- Identify measures to avoid, minimize or mitigate consequences of the proposed action.
- Describe the agency and public coordination efforts, and serve as the basis for decision-making.
Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) - Record of
Decision (ROD) (Winter 2006)
After the public hearings have been held and the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) has taken action, the FEIS document is submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for approval.
The FEIS will:
- Summarize key issues raised from comments received on the DEIS and at the public hearings.
- Address substantive comments received on the DEIS.
- Document all mitigation measures and other commitments associated with the alternative selected including compliance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
- Document selected alternative.
The Record of Decision (ROD) is a document issued by FHWA to identify the selected alternative, to document the basis for the decision and to outline mitigation measures. The ROD is issued no sooner than 30 days after the publication of the FEIS notice in the Federal Register. The location study is complete upon the issuance of a ROD. The ROD allows project development to continue into final design, right-of-way acquisition and construction.
Environmental Impact Statement Process
What is an
Environmental Impact Statement?
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) describes the potential environmental impacts of a proposed action and its alternatives. An EIS also serves as the basis for a decision. The EIS is required by the NEPA (see below) for major Federal actions that could significantly affect the quality of the human environment.
The National Environmental Policy Act became effective January 1, 1970, and requires federal agencies to disclose and consider the environmental implications of their actions, including effects to the social, natural, economic, and transportation environments.
of this EIS
To evaluate the environmental effects of the proposed action, the Study Team applies the regulatory previsions and agency guidance of a broad range of federal statutes. Several of the environmental study categories the team will analyze are listed below:
- Air Quality
- Construction Impacts
- Cultural Resources
- Hazardous Materials
- Indirect and Cumulative Impacts
- Land Use
- Natural Resources
- Parks, Recreation Areas, and Open Space Easements
- Right-of-Way and Relocations
- Social and Economic Impacts
- Transportation (traffic and transit operations)