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Revised Notice of Intent To Prepare a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement With: Dane and Columbia Counties, Wisconsin

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Revised Notice of Intent To Prepare a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement With: Dane and Columbia Counties, Wisconsin

Andrew Brinkerhoff
Federal Highway Administration
September 23, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 184 (Wednesday, September 23, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57422-57423]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-24116]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration


Revised Notice of Intent To Prepare a Tier 1 Environmental Impact 
Statement With: Dane and Columbia Counties, Wisconsin

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Wisconsin Department of 
Transportation (WisDOT).

ACTION: Revised Notice of Intent to Prepare a Tier 1 Environmental 
Impact Statement.

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SUMMARY: The purpose of this NOI is to update the notice that was 
issued in the Federal Register Vol. 79 No. 224, Thursday, November 20, 
2014, Notices. The FHWA is issuing this revised notice to advise the 
public that FHWA and WisDOT will be preparing a Tier 1 Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) for proposed transportation improvements along 
the Interstate (I)-39/90/94 corridor, from the United States Highway 
(US) 12/18 Interchange to the I-39/Wisconsin State Highway (WIS) 78 
interchange in Dane and Columbia Counties in south-central Wisconsin. A 
more detailed analysis will be prepared for a 6.6 mile portion of the 
corridor from Columbia County Highway CS to the I-39/WIS 78 interchange 
(south of Portage). This analysis could be completed within the Tier 1 
EIS, as a separate Tier 2 NEPA document, or with an environmental 
document outside the tiered process. The NOI is being updated to 
reflect the current status of the environmental study since the 
previous NOI was issued in November 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Brinkerhoff, Major Projects 
Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, 525 Junction Road, Suite 
8000, Madison, Wisconsin, 53717-2157, Telephone: (608) 829-7523. You 
may also contact Pat Trainer, Acting Director, Bureau of Technical 
Services, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 7965, 
Madison, Wisconsin, 53707-7965, Telephone: (608) 264-7330.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The FHWA, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of 
Transportation, will prepare a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) on proposed improvements in the I-39/90/94 corridor and adjacent 
local road systems from the US 12/18 interchange (Madison Beltline 
interchange) to the I-39/WIS 78 interchange (south of

[[Page 57423]]

Portage), approximately 35 miles. The project limits also include WIS 
30 from East Washington Avenue to I-39/90/94, I-94 from I-39/90 to Dane 
County N, US 151 from I-39/90/94 to Main Street in Sun Prairie, and the 
I-39/90/94, US 51 & WIS 19 ``triangle'' in DeForest, including 
operational areas of influence at each interchange. The preliminary 
purpose of this project identified by FHWA and WisDOT is to address 
infrastructure needs; highway safety issues and design deficiencies; 
accommodate existing and projected traffic volumes; and improve the 
transportation system's ability to support local and regional tourism 
economies. There will be opportunities for public and agency 
involvement in further defining the Purpose and Need of the project.
    FHWA's decision to prepare an EIS is based on the initial 
environmental investigation that indicates the proposed action is 
likely to have significant impacts on the environment, including 
wetlands. The study began preparing a Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement (DEIS) for the corridor, but due to project complexity and 
funding limitations, FHWA and WisDOT have decided to prepare a Tiered 
EIS instead of a traditional EIS. The Tier 1 EIS will analyze the 
project on a broad scale and identify a preferred corridor location for 
potential future improvements. The Tier 1 EIS will evaluate the social, 
economic, and environmental impacts for a range of alternatives within 
the existing I-39/90/94 corridor and improvements along other 
corridors.
    More detailed analysis will be prepared for a 6.6 mile portion of 
the corridor from Columbia County Highway CS to the I-39/WIS 78 
interchange. The purpose of the more detailed analysis is to address 
bridge structural needs at the Wisconsin River crossing due to the 
limited remaining operational life. The analysis would examine the 
impacts of construction and identify a preferred alternative; this 
analysis would ensure that bridge replacement could occur within the 
necessary time frame (by 2025).
    Subsequent Tier 2 environmental documents will be prepared with a 
greater degree of engineering detail for specific improvements in the 
remainder of the corridor. The alternative analysis in the Tier 2 
documents will include, but is not limited to, the alternatives that 
have been developed as part of the previous EIS study.
    The Tier 1 EIS will be prepared in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 139, 
23 CFR 771 and 40 CFR parts 1500-1508. Completion of the Tier 1 EIS and 
the Record of Decision (ROD) is expected in 2018.
    Public involvement is a critical component of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and will occur throughout the 
development of the draft and final Tier 1 EIS. All environmental 
documents will be made available for review by federal and state 
resource agencies and the public. Specific efforts to encourage 
involvement by, and solicit comments from, minority and low-income 
populations in the project study area will be made, with public 
involvement meetings held throughout the environmental document 
process. Public notice will be given as to the time and place of public 
involvement meetings. A public hearing will be held after the 
completion of the Draft Tier 1 EIS.
    Inquiries about the EIS can be sent to robert.knorr@dot.wi.gov. A 
public Web site will be maintained throughout the study to provide 
information about the project and allow for on-line public comment 
(http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/399094/default.aspx). To ensure the full range of issues related to the 
proposed action are addressed and all significant issues identified, 
comments and suggestions are invited from all interested parties. 
Comments and questions concerning the proposed action and this notice 
should be directed to the FHWA address provided above.
    Projects receiving Federal funds must comply with Title VI of the 
Civil Rights Act, and Executive Order 12898 ``Federal Actions to 
Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income 
Populations.'' Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of 
race, color, age, sex, or country of national origin in the 
implementation of this project. It is also Federal policy to identify 
and address any disproportionately high and adverse effects of federal 
projects on the health or environment of minority and low income 
populations to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law.

(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.)

    Authority:  23 U.S.C. 315; 49 CFR 1.48.

    Issued on: September 14, 2015.
Andrew Brinkerhoff,
Major Projects Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, Madison, 
Wisconsin.
[FR Doc. 2015-24116 Filed 9-22-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-22-P

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