When is it?
The Tri-County Access Project began in 2017 and is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2021.
The study process for this project will follow state and federal requirements meant to integrate environmental values and public interaction into transportation improvements.
The Project Study Team will assess the natural, built, and human environment to determine the extent of effects that may arise from constructing and operating a project. Some of the environmental factors to be assessed include air quality, wildlife, vegetation, water quality, wetlands, geology, neighborhoods, park/recreation areas, utilities, visual quality, and cultural resources.Public input will be encouraged and considered throughout the development of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Step One: Project Initiation/Scoping/Purpose and Need (Needs Assessment) – The purpose and need serves as the backbone of the Tri-County Access Project EIS. The Purpose and Need identifies the needs and defines the transportation problems that the project aims to solve. The information collected will be used as the basis for the development of the project Purpose and Need statement. This phase of the project is informed by the projects’ early planning studies and early stakeholder engagement.
Step Two: Initial Range of Alternatives Studies – A broad range of initial alternatives will be considered to address the project Purpose and Need. The Initial Range of Alternatives will be developed by leveraging information gathered from previous study efforts, input from stakeholders, and an understanding existing and future travel patterns. The Initial Range of Alternatives will be developed and evaluated at a conceptual level, to allow an initial evaluation of their relative performance characteristics and environmental consequences, as compared to the No-Build Alternative.
Step Three: Alternatives for Detailed Consideration Studies – This step begins with the identification of the build alternatives to be carried forward for detailed consideration. The build alternatives will be developed to a greater level of detail, to allow an evaluation of their performance characteristics and environmental effects, as compared to the No-Build Alternative. Findings and public input will support identification of the Preferred Alternative, which will be presented in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS).
Step Four: Alternative Selection & Study Completion – This step begins with consideration of comments received during the Draft EIS public comment period. This step concludes with preparation of the Final EIS and a Record of Decision by FHWA identifying the Selected Alternative; along with the development of the project implementation and financial plan.