2013 Outstanding Achievement Awards for Excellence in Environmental Document Preparation

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Environmental Assessment for the Kansas City Downtown Streetcar Project

Project Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Project Sponsors: City of Kansas City

The City of Kansas City will construct a streetcar project on Main Street that runs on approximately two miles of doubled track, with a northern terminus in the River Market District near 3rd Street and Grand Boulevard and a southern terminus near Union Station at Pershing Road. The Streetcar tracks will be constructed within the existing street right-of-way, except for the vehicle maintenance facility, and will operate in mixed traffic.

FTA's environmental document reviewers commended the document for the following:

  • excellent example of limiting discussion only to potential impacts to proposed project;
  • discussed only briefly issues other than significant ones;
  • following CEQ NEPA guidance it was short and easy to read;
  • completed relatively quickly (approximately 6 months);
  • previous planning studies and supporting technical studies were incorporated in the EA by reference; and
  • included FTA early in process, providing us an opportunity to review the Scope of Work and using an annotated outline.

See for yourself at the project website.

 

Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Mukilteo Multimodal Project

Project Location: Mukilteo, Washington

Project Sponsor: Washington State Department of Transportation, Ferries Division

The project is located on the Puget Sound shoreline north of Seattle, WA. It will improve the operations, safety, and security of a combined ferry terminal, transit center and commuter rail station complex serving the mainland terminals of the Mukilteo-Clinton (Whidbey Island) ferry route in Snohomish County. The Draft and Final EIS culminate decades of planning to solve congestion, reliability and safety problems at the aging but heavily used Mukilteo ferry terminal. This is one of the busiest ferry routes in the country, and its growing ridership is expected to nearly double by 2030. With only a small increase in vehicle capacity planned for the ferries serving this route, creating an efficient multimodal terminal is essential to serve the expected ridership growth. The terminal is served by bus routes operated by two local transit agencies and is near a commuter rail station serving trips between Everett and Seattle. The ElS took two and a half years to go from alternatives selection (January 2011) to the Final EIS. The Final EIS reflects how WSDOT and FTA used the NEPA process from scoping onwards to continuously refine and improve alternatives; one result was broad public and agency consensus supporting the Preferred Alternative.

FTA's environmental document reviewers commended the document for the following:

  • being an excellent job of communicating a complex project in a visually attractive and plain language manner;
  • it covered a large set of critical environmental challenges and regulation,while staying concise and readable;
  • the large number of attractive graphics and maps helped the reader;
  • separate technical reports were incorporate by reference;
  • good coordination with Native American tribes;
  • early FTA involvement;
  • it showed how the Preferred Alternative will achieve the project purpose and need; and
  • it disclosed the significant differences among the alternatives as well as their benefits and impacts.

See for yourself at the project website.

 

 

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