||U. S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
628-2 Hebron Avenue, Suite 303
Glastonbury, Connecticut 06033-5007
May 10, 2006
|IN REPLY REFER TO:
Colonel Curtis L. Thalken
Department of the Army
New England District, Corps of Engineers
696 Virginia Road
Concord, MA 01742-2751
Subject: Extension of North Hillside Road in Mansfield, Connecticut
University of Connecticut (Storrs Campus)
Preparation of Environmental Impact Statement
Request for Participating & Cooperating Agency Designation
Dear Colonel Thalken:
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in cooperation with the University of Connecticut (UConn), is initiating the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the extension of North Hillside Road on the UConn Storrs campus in Mansfield, Connecticut. A Notice of Intent (NOI) dated April 13, 2006 was published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2006. Since the project may require a Corps permit, and because of your agency's legal jurisdiction over such permits, pursuant to §6002 of SAFETEA-LU (P.L. No. 109-59), we are requesting that your agency concur on designation as a Participating & Cooperating Agency.
The proposed project will construct a road to provide an alternate entrance to the University and to relieve traffic on U.S. Route 44, Route 195, and Hunting Lodge Road. The new road is also intended to facilitate the development of UConn-related academic and research buildings, student housing, and recreational facilities on parcels of land adjacent to the Storrs campus, also known as the "North Campus." (see enclosed map). This EIS will involve an analysis of several alternatives and their associated environmental concerns.
The extension of North Hillside Road is considered necessary to improve circulation within the campus, to reduce traffic on the local roadway network, and to facilitate development of the North Campus. Alternatives under consideration include, but are not limited to: (1) taking no action; (2) alternative project locations, including off-site locations; and (3) various roadway alignments within the proposed project area.
Areas of concern to be emphasized in the study will include potential environmental impacts upon existing ecological resources, wetlands, water resources, historic and archaeological resources, parks and recreation, noise, social and community character, hazardous/contaminated materials, and impacts due to project construction.
Your agency's involvement should entail those areas under its jurisdiction and no direct writing or analysis by your agency will be necessary for this document's preparation. The following activities will be undertaken by our agency to maximize interagency cooperation:
- Invite your agency to all agency coordination meetings.
- Consult your agency on any relevant technical studies that may be required for the project.
- Organize joint field reviews.
- Provide project information, including study results.
- Encourage your agency to use the above documents to express its views on subjects within your agency's jurisdiction or expertise.
- Include information in the project environmental documents that cooperating agencies need to fulfill their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) responsibilities and any other requirements regarding jurisdictional approvals, permits, licenses, and/or clearances.
You have the right to expect that the EIS will enable your agency to fulfill its jurisdictional responsibilities. Likewise your agency has the obligation to tell us if, at any point in the process, your agency's needs are not being met. We expect that at the end of the process the EIS will satisfy your agency's NEPA requirements including those related to project alternatives, environmental consequences and mitigation. Further, we intend to utilize the EIS and our subsequent Record of Decision (ROD) as our decision-making documents and as the basis for the permit application.
We look forward to your response to this request and your agency's role as a Participating & Cooperating Agency on this project. An agency scoping meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, June 15, 2006 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 7 of the Bishop Center at the University of Connecticut, One Bishop Circle, Storrs, CT. Please arrange to have a representative from your agency attend this meeting, and provide this office with the appropriate contact person(s) responsible for the NEPA process by June 7, 2006. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this project or our agencies' respective roles and responsibilities during the preparation of the EIS in more detail, please contact Mr. Richard A. Miller, Esq., Director of Environmental Policy, University of Connecticut at (860) 486-8741 or Mr. Robert W. Turner, P.E., Environmental Engineer of our agency at (860) 659-6703, ext. 3011. Thank you in advance for your interest and participation in this project.
/s/ Bradley Keazer 5/10/06
Bradley D. Keazer
cc: Richard A. Miller (UConn)
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