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Announcement :: Environment

Interstate-81 Draft Environmental Impact Study meetings announced

VDOT will hold public hearings on the I-81 Draft Environmental Impact Study throughout the corridor between April 11 and 19, 2006.
CONTACT: IMMEDIATE

Laura Bullock 540-387-5493
Jason Bond 540-387-5250
Email: saleminfo (at) VDOT.Virginia.gov SAL-salem173

3/13/2006

VDOT SETS PUBLIC HEARINGS ON I-81 STUDY
Six meetings set along corridor, beginning April 11

Six public hearings for the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Study are scheduled in various locations April 11-19. Interested citizens are encouraged to attend and provide input about the study. More information and the Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement are available on-line at www.I-81.org):, at Virginia Department of Transportation offices, and at library headquarters locations along the corridor. Participants also may comment on the potential use of tolling as a funding source.

Each public hearing will follow the same format, beginning at 5 p.m. with a brief presentation about the I-81 study. After the presentation, during an informal open house meeting, citizens may watch a video, view exhibits, ask questions of technical staff, provide written comments or speak privately with a court reporter. At the same time and in the same locations, a traditional-style public hearing will be held for those who wish to make oral comments to VDOT representatives in a public forum. The open house meeting and traditional public hearing both will run from 5-8 p.m.

Public hearings will be held (maps and directions are posted at www.I-81.org):

Tuesday, April 11
Roanoke Wyndham Hotel
2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke
and
Wytheville Community College
1000 E. Main St., Wytheville

Wednesday, April 12
Bristol Holiday Inn & Conference Center
3005 Linden Dr., Bristol

Monday, April 17
Natural Bridge Hotel & Conference Center
15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge

Tuesday, April 18
Winchester Travel Lodge
160 Front Royal Pike, Winchester

Wednesday, April 19
Turner Ashby High School
800 N. Main St., Bridgewater

From 1-4 p.m., interested citizens may preview the exhibits that will be displayed during the open house public hearings. Technical staff will not be available during these preview sessions, and spoken comments cannot be recorded; however, citizens may drop off written comments.

The only exception for the preview meetings is April 19 when the exhibits will be displayed from 1-4 p.m. at the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Harrisonburg Residency Office, located at 3536 North Valley Pike in Harrisonburg.

Information about VDOT’s application to FHWA to place tolls on I-81 as a potential source for funding also will be available at the public hearings. Citizens may provide their comments on tolling by providing written comments at the hearings, by speaking privately to a court reporter or by speaking publicly during the formal public hearing.

Citizens also may provide comments about the I-81 study and tolling by e-mailing them to 81info (at) VirginiaDOT.org. An on-line comment form is available at www.I-81.org. Comments may be mailed to Christopher Collins, Project Manager, VDOT Environmental Division, 1401 E. Broad St., Richmond, Va. 23219.

The next steps in the I-81 Corridor Improvement Study are:
* Conclude public comment period April 29, 2006.
* Compile all study data and public input and forward to members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board for decision.
* If the CTB advances a build concept, then VDOT will prepare a Tier 1 Final EIS on that concept.
VDOT sends Tier 1 Final EIS to FHWA for review and approval.
* If a Tier 1 Final EIS is approved, FHWA subsequently issues a Tier 1 Record of Decision.
* If a build concept is advanced and Tier 1 Record of Decision issued, then Tier 2 studies could begin on selected projects.

For more on the I-81 Corridor Improvement Study, as well as other planning initiatives along the corridor, go to www.I-81.org.
 
 


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