Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for High Capacity Transit Improvements for the Indianapolis Northeast Corridor Now Known as (nka) Green Rapid Transit Line in the Indiana Counties of Marion and Hamilton
Supplemental notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority (CIRTA), the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization (Indianapolis MPO) and Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo) intend to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Northeast Corridor Project, nka Green Rapid Transit Line (Green Line) Project relating to proposed fixed guideway transit improvements in the Indiana counties of Marion and Hamilton. The study area is an approximately 23-mile long travel corridor extending from downtown Indianapolis to downtown Noblesville and includes the community of Fishers. Options to be considered include No-Build, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Diesel Light Rail Transit (LRT). The EIS process provides opportunities for the public to comment on the scope of the EIS, including the project's purpose and need, the alternatives to be considered, and the impacts to be evaluated. The southern terminus of all alternatives would be adjacent to the transit center in downtown Indianapolis. An original Notice of Intent for the proposed Green Line transit improvement was published on March 9, 2010 and was followed by initial project scoping, public involvement and agency coordination. Project activities were suspended following the initial scoping activities to address funding issues and conduct additional planning related to development of the regional transit vision plan (referred to as ``Indy Connect''). As funding issues are being addressed and the regional transit plan has been completed, scoping activities for the Green Line have resumed. The purpose of this notice is to alert interested parties regarding the intent to prepare the EIS, to provide information on the nature of the proposed project and possible alternatives, to invite public participation in the EIS process, including comments on the scope of the EIS as proposed in this notice, to announce that a public scoping meeting will be conducted, and to identify participating agency contacts. This input will be used to assist decision makers in determining a locally preferred alternative (LPA) and preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Green Line. Upon selection of an LPA, the project sponsors will request permission from FTA to enter into Project Development per requirements of 49 USC 5309. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) will be issued after the project has entered Project Development. Dates, Times, and Locations: Comment Due Date: Written comments on the purpose and need for the proposed improvements, and the scope of alternatives and impacts to be considered should be sent to the Indianapolis MPO by December 19, 2013. A public scoping meeting to accept comments on the scope of the study will be held on December 5, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Julia Carson Government Center located at 300 East Fall Creek Parkway North Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46205. The public scoping meeting will be informal and in an open house format. Interested persons may ask questions about the proposal and the FTA's environmental review process. The project's purpose and need and the initial set of alternatives proposed for study will be presented at the meetings. CIRTA, the Indianapolis MPO, IndyGo and project team members will be available to answer questions and receive comments. A writing station will be available to those who wish to submit written comments at the public scoping meeting. Project team members will be available to listen and make notes of residents' comments. The public scoping meeting location complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Persons needing special accommodations should contact Jeremy Moore, Project Manager, at (317) 327-5495 or Jeremy.Moore@indy.gov at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. An interagency scoping meeting for federal, state, regional and local resource and regulatory agencies will be held on December 5, 2013 from 2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. in the HNTB Corporation offices located at 111 Monument Circle, Suite 1200, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204. The meeting will also be available via webcast. All appropriate agencies that may have an interest in this project, or have a potential interest in becoming a participating agency, will be notified of the meeting through separate direct correspondence. Submitting Comments on the Scope of the Study: Scoping materials will be available at the meetings and through the project's Web site at http://www.indyconnect.org. FTA, CIRTA, the Indianapolis MPO and IndyGo encourage broad participation in the EIS process. All interested agencies, organizations, communities, and members of the public are invited to participate in the scoping process by reviewing and commenting on the scope of the EIS.