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Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, City of Newport News and City of Hampton to the City of Norfolk, City of Portsmouth, City of Suffolk, and City of Chesapeake, Virginia

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, City of Newport News and City of Hampton to the City of Norfolk, City of Portsmouth, City of Suffolk, and City of Chesapeake, Virginia

Edward Sundra
Federal Highway Administration
June 23, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 120 (Tuesday, June 23, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36038-36039]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-15419]



[[Page 36038]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration


Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, City of Newport News 
and City of Hampton to the City of Norfolk, City of Portsmouth, City of 
Suffolk, and City of Chesapeake, Virginia

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in cooperation with 
the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will prepare a 
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to evaluate the 
Hampton Roads Crossing Study Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(FEIS). The purpose of the SEIS is to evaluate new information 
regarding environmental impacts and the alternatives described in the 
March 2001 FEIS.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Sundra, Director of Program 
Development, Federal Highway Administration, 400 North 8th Street, 
Suite 750, Richmond, VA 23219; email: Ed.Sundra@dot.gov; (804) 775-
3357.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    1. Description of the Proposed Action and Background--In 1991, the 
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act allocated 
demonstration funds for a number of innovative projects which included 
the I-64 crossing of Hampton Roads. A Major Investment Study of the 
crossing was completed in 1997, and the Hampton Roads Crossing Study 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was issued in March 1999. 
The FEIS for the study was issued in March 2001, identifying Candidate 
Build Alternative (CBA) 9 as the preferred alternative. FHWA selected 
CBA 9 in a Record of Decision that was issued in June 2001. In 2003, 
FHWA completed a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) re-evaluation 
after VDOT received unsolicited proposals from the private sector to 
build the project. Efforts to advance the private sector proposals were 
eventually terminated, but portions of CBA 9, collectively known as 
Patriots Crossing, were re-evaluated in 2013 because there was support 
to move forward on that section. At the time, no federal action was 
taken in response to the re-evaluation because there was no funding to 
construct the project in the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning 
Organization's fiscally constrained long range transportation plan. 
FHWA and VDOT also studied separate improvements to the Hampton Roads 
Bridge Tunnel in a DEIS that was issued in December 2012. A preferred 
alternative was not selected following the circulation of the DEIS, and 
the study has not advanced. With a separate notice, the Notice of 
Intent to prepare an EIS for the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel will be 
cancelled. Regardless, this SEIS will review information from the 
Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel DEIS, Hampton Roads Crossing Study FEIS/
ROD, and the NEPA re-evaluations referenced above and incorporate 
relevant information into the SEIS; revisit the purpose and need; 
update the alternatives and impacts analyses; and assess impacts not 
previously evaluated in these NEPA documents.
    2. Alternatives--Alternatives to be considered for the proposed 
project will include but not be limited to the No-Build Alternative and 
the selected alternative from the 2001 FEIS/ROD (CBA-9). The selected 
alternative, as described in the FEIS/ROD, would begin on the Peninsula 
at the I-664/I-64 interchange in the City of Hampton and would widen I-
664 to the I-64/I-264 interchange in the City of Chesapeake. An 
interchange with I-664 near the south approach structure of the Monitor 
Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel would provide a connection to a new 
roadway and bridge tunnel extending from I-664 over to I-564 in the 
City of Norfolk. A second interchange on the new facility would provide 
a connection to a new roadway running south along the eastern side of 
Craney Island, terminating at Virginia Route 164 (Western Freeway) in 
the City of Portsmouth. Revisions to the location of the alignment 
between Craney Island and Virginia Route 164 will be evaluated because 
of new information regarding the land use in the area.
    Consideration will also be given to the alternatives from the 1999 
DEIS to improve the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (CBA-1) and an 
alternative to extend the improvements included in CBA-1 south to I-564 
where a new bridge tunnel would cross the Elizabeth River and connect 
to VA 164 in the City of Portsmouth (CBA-2). Finally, consideration 
will be given to alternatives based on public and agency feedback 
during the scoping process. The SEIS will document the alternatives 
previously eliminated from consideration as well as consider options 
for tolling.
    3. Scoping and Public Review Process--Throughout the development of 
the Hampton Roads Crossing Study EIS, a variety of scoping and public 
involvement opportunities were provided to notify the public about the 
project, provide information and updates, and solicit feedback. These 
opportunities included but were not limited to a series of public 
hearings in the corridor when the Hampton Roads Crossing Study DEIS was 
issued in 1999. To ensure that a full range of issues related to the 
project are addressed and all significant issues identified, VDOT will 
host two Citizen Information/Scoping Meetings in July. Those meetings 
are scheduled for Tuesday, July 21st at the Academy for Discovery at 
Lakewood School in Norfolk and Wednesday, July 22nd at St. Mary's Star 
of the Sea School in Hampton. VDOT will provide additional information 
for the meetings and notify the public of any changes, including 
inclement weather dates, through a variety of means including newspaper 
notices and a project Web site. A separate meeting for the resource, 
regulatory, and participating agencies is also scheduled for July 21st, 
and notices will be sent directly to those agencies.
    Notification of the availability of the Draft SEIS for public and 
agency review will be made in the Federal Register and using other 
methods to be jointly determined by FHWA and VDOT. Those methods will 
identify where interested parties can go to review a copy of the Draft 
SEIS. For the Draft SEIS, public meetings will be held and a minimum 
45-day comment period will be provided. The public meetings will be 
conducted by VDOT and announced a minimum of 30 days in advance of the 
meetings. At the appropriate time, VDOT will provide information for 
the public meetings, including date, time and location through a 
variety of means including newspaper notice and the project Web site.
    4. Issues--Based on coordination between FHWA and VDOT, the issues 
to be analyzed in the SEIS will include, but are not limited to, 
purpose and need, alternatives and environmental effects including 
effects to wetlands and streams, cultural resources, threatened and 
endangered species, and environmental justice communities.
    5. Additional Review and Consultation--The SEIS will comply with 
other Federal and State requirements including the State water quality 
certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act; protection of 
water quality under the Virginia/National Pollutant Discharge 
Elimination System; protection of endangered and threatened species 
under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act; and protection of 
cultural

[[Page 36039]]

resources under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 315; 23 CFR 771.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, 
Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing 
Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on 
Federal programs and activities apply to this program.)

    Issued by:
    Dated: June 17, 2015.
Edward Sundra,
Director of Program Development, Federal Highway Administration, 
Richmond, Virginia.
[FR Doc. 2015-15419 Filed 6-22-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-22-P

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