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The Regional Outer Loop Corridor Feasibility Study

Slide 1

The Regional Outer Loop Corridor Feasibility Study

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

FHWA Peer Exchange on Using Corridor Planning to Inform NEPA

December 2, 2009

North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Department

Slide 2

NCTOG Statistics

  • Represents 16 counties, 23 ISDS, 165 cities, and 29 special districts (over 12,800 square miles)
  • Larger than 34 states in population and 9 in land area
  • Represent over 34 percent of the State's economy
  • 4th largest MPA in the U.S. by population and 2nd largest by area
  • 6.1 million people in 2008
    • Adding 100,00 per year
    • Project to grow to nearly 9 million people by 2030

Slide 3

Regional Outer Loop Corridor Feasibility Study: Purpose and Goals

  • Purpose: Evaluate the need and feasibility for a transportation facility to facilitate regional mobility, address increased freight flows, and enhance economic vitality at a regional level.
  • Study Goals:
    • Identify a 1/2 to 1-mile wide Locally Preferred Corridor (LPC) for further study, which may or many not form a loop or be continuous around the region
    • Define Sections of Independent Utility (SIU)
    • Identify timing and phasing (i.e., mainlanes, access roads, corridor preservation) for each SIU

Slide 4

Preliminary Outer Loop Corridors: Dallas Forth Worth Region

This slide shows a map of the Dallas-Fort Worth region and potential location of the regional outer loop corridor.

Slide 5

Study Subarea Map

This slide shows a map of the Dallas-Fort Worth region and the regional outer loop corridor, as divided into 17 different subareas.

Slide 6

Planning and Environmental Process

This slide shows a graphic of the Planning and Environmental Process that NCTCOG is following and where they are in the process.

Slide 7

"Bottom Up Approach" = Integrated Stakeholder Coordination Efforts

  • Outer Loop Stakeholder Roundtables (18 meetings to date)
    • Regional coordination team of local elected officials and staff
  • NCTCOG Public Meetings (13 meetings/open houses to date)
  • Outer Loop Corridor Refinement Team (21 meetings to date)
    • Technical team composed of NCTOG, FHWA, local TxDOT districts, TxDOT Texas Turnpike Authority Division, and TxDOT Multimodal Division
  • Resource Agencies (State and Federal) (2 meetings to date)
    • Early and continuous information exchange and partnership activities to integrate environmental planning factors into all study phases
    • Part of NCTOG Transportation Resource Agency Consultation and Environmental Streamlining (TRACES) effort
  • Other (74 meetings to date)
    • Briefings, presentations, or meetings with elected officials, organizations, property owners, etc.

Slide 8

EPA Tools to aid project planning and NEPA

Slide 9

Regional Ecological Assessment Protocol (REAP)

Slide 10

This slide shows a map of Texas with ecologically-important areas highlighted.

Slide 11

This slide shows a map of Texas with ecologically-important areas highlighted.

Slide 12

This slide shows a map of Texas with ecologically-important areas highlighted.

Slide 13

Opportunities

  • Collaboration
    • Share data and expertise
  • Cumulative and Single Media Environmental Assessment
  • Mitigation
    • True Avoidance
    • Then Minimization
    • Then Compensation
  • Restoration Projects

Slide 14

GISST is a GIS-based tool that uses criteria that are scored to assist in initial assessment of potential environmental impacts.

Slide 15

This slide shows screen shots from the GISST computer tool.

Slide 16

GISST Cumulative

This slide shows screen shots from GISST, highlighting cumulative effects.

Slide 17

NEPAssist

  • Facilitates the environmental review process and project planning
  • Web-based application
  • Draws environmental data dynamically from EPA GIS and other sources
  • Provides a preliminary environmental assessment of a project's potential environmental impacts
  • Raises environmental issues at earliest stages of project development

Slide 18

NEPAssist

This slide shows screen shots from NEPAssist

Slide 19

Need/Purpose + MTP Goals, Guiding Principles, Objectives, and Measures

This slide shows a chart of example goals, objectives, and measures, and how they are related.

Slide 20

Issue/Concern Tracking and Response

  • Over 200 comments documented and included in report to help preserve the project history
  • Sample of comments: (an example of comment tracking is provided)

Slide 21

Alternative Development and Documentation — Example

This slide shows an example of how alternatives are being identified for the regional outer loop corridor.

Slide 22

Alternative Development and Documentation — Example

This slide shows an example of how alternatives are being tracked for the regional outer loop corridor.

Slide 23

Feasibility Report Highlight and Status

  • Report Outline (an outline of the report is provided).
  • Document dates of all information used and comprehensive history of alternative development, analysis, comments, and recommendations based on best available information.
  • Status:
    • Chapters 1–4, Volume 2 complete
    • Chapter 5 and Volume 3 under development
    • Revising travel demand model to include 2035 demographics
    • Draft Final Report to be completed by Spring 2010

Slide 24

Challenges

  • Development of the travel demand model to analyze the project
  • Stakeholder and public expectations
  • Regional need and purpose versus project level need and purpose
  • Previous studies and alignment selection by others
  • Use of existing facilities versus greenfield
  • Encouraging sprawl versus accommodating growth
  • Connection/relationship to the Trans-Texas Corridor

Slide 25

For More Information

Slide 26

For More Information

  • Sandy Wesch, PE, AICP
  • Program Manager
  • NCTOG
  • Streamline Project Delivery Team
  • (817) 704-5632
  • swesch@nctcog.org

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