Notice of Intent.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Metro-North Commuter Railroad (Metro-North) intend to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS), in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, on a proposal by Metro-North to extend commuter railroad service for approximately 5 miles on the Dover Plains Branch of the Harlem Line from the Village of Dover Plains to the Hamlet of Wassaic in the Town of Amenia, Dutchess County, New York. [[Page 30088]] The Proposed Action, also known as the Wassaic Extension Project, will extend north on the former Penn Central owned right-of-way from the existing Dover Plains Station, pass immediately to the west of the Wassaic Developmental Center (WDC) paralleling NYS Route 22/343, pass through the hamlet of Wassaic, and terminate approximately 3,200 feet (0.6 mile) north of the hamlet adjacent to NYS Route 22/343. The action also includes the construction of a rail yard, station, and 250 parking spaces (150 paved, 100 unpaved) to be located on a site along the alignment just north of Wassaic at the terminus of the proposed extension. A smaller passenger station will be constructed at the WDC with a parking lot of 50 spaces. The total length of the extension project is 5 miles. The proposed project is intended to help relieve an existing congested parking situation at Dover Plains station, increase the operating efficiency of Metro-North and expand Metro-North's market. In addition to the Proposed Action, the EIS will evaluate a No- Build alternative and two (2) Build alternatives, as well as any additional alternative(s) generated through the scoping process. Scoping will be accomplished through correspondence with interested persons and organizations, as well as with federal, state, and local agencies. One (1) public scoping meeting will be conducted.