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Environmental Impact Statement; King County, Washington

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Environmental Impact Statement; King County, Washington

Daniel M. Mathis
Federal Highway Administration
September 26, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 187 (Thursday, September 26, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59414-59415]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-23446]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration


Environmental Impact Statement; King County, Washington

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Highway Administration is issuing this notice to 
advise the public that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be 
prepared for a proposed project to (1) manage congestion and traffic 
flow on I-90 between I-5 and I-405, which is in the Cross-Lake 
Washington Corridor, and (2) contribute revenue to the sustainable, 
long-term funding for timely completion of the SR 520 Bridge 
Replacement and HOV Program and maintenance and future transportation 
improvements on I-90. The total length of the corridor is approximately 
seven (7) miles. The scoping period for this EIS is October 7, 2013 
through November 6, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lindsey Handel, Urban Transportation 
Engineer, Federal Highway Administration, Washington Division, 711 S. 
Capitol Way, Suite 501, Olympia, WA 98501; telephone: 360-753-9550; and 
email: lindsey.handel@dot.gov. Washington State Department of 
Transportation (WSDOT) agency coordination contact: Angela Angove, I-90 
Tolling Environmental Manager, Washington Department of Transportation 
(WSDOT); 999 Third Ave, Seattle, WA 98104; telephone: 206-805-2832; 
email: angovea@wsdot.wa.gov. Additional information on the I-90 Tolling 
Project can also be found on the project Web site at  http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I90/CrossLakeWATolling.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In the 2012 Transportation Budget Bill, ESHB 
2109, the Washington State Legislature directed WSDOT to ``undertake a 
comprehensive environmental review of tolling Interstate 90 between I-5 
and I-405 for the purposes of both managing traffic and providing 
funding for construction of the unfunded SR 520 from I-5 to Medina 
project . . . ''
    The Cross-Lake Washington Corridor includes the I-90 and State 
Route (SR) 520 bridges, which are part of two parallel highways that 
along with portions of I-5 and I-405 operate as one larger system to 
connect the region's major employment and population centers over Lake 
Washington, a 22-mile-long body of water. The FHWA is issuing this 
notice to advise the public that an EIS will be prepared by FHWA and 
WSDOT on a proposed project to introduce tolling to I-90 between I-5 in 
Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue, Washington. The specific boundaries of 
the project study area will be defined in the EIS.
    FHWA and WSDOT initially planned to prepare an environmental 
assessment (EA) for this project and conducted the first round of 
scoping between January 22, 2013 and February 22, 2013. FHWA and WSDOT 
received approximately 3,400 comments, most of which expressed concern 
with or opposition to tolls on I-90. Between the time that the scoping 
comment period ended in February 2013 and the time that the Scoping 
Summary Report was published in June, the Washington State Legislature 
passed Engrossed Substitute Senate bill 5024, amending their previous 
direction to WSDOT by requiring an EIS for the project. Given the type 
of comments received during scoping urging FHWA and WSDOT to prepare on 
EIS in conjunction with the new state law, FHWA and WSDOT will move 
forward with an EIS to evaluate potential effects of the Project.
    Based on input received during the first scoping period, FHWA and 
WSDOT have revised the purpose and need statement. These changes 
include a revised purpose statement, as well as added clarification on 
the need to manage congestion on I-90, and the need for additional 
revenue to complete the SR 520, I-5 to Medina: Bridge Replacement and 
HOV Project. The revised purpose and need statement is available on the 
project Web site at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I90/CrossLakeWATolling.
    Three tolling scenarios were introduced during the first scoping 
period. These included tolls collected between Seattle and Mercer 
Island, tolls collected between Bellevue and Mercer Island, and partial 
tolls collected on trips within a segment. In addition to these three 
tolling scenarios, several alternatives to tolling were suggested by 
the public and agencies. Suggested alternatives included, but are not 
limited to, other funding mechanisms for the SR 520 program such as gas 
tax, increasing tolls on SR 520, and vehicle miles traveled tax. Other 
alternatives suggested include tolling other facilities, increased 
transit service, and adding high occupancy toll lanes to I-90. All 
reasonable alternatives recommended by the Washington State 
Legislature, the public, and agencies will be considered and evaluated 
in the EIS to determine if they meet the purpose and need of the 
project: the EIS will also include a No-Build Alternative.
    Agency Coordination: The lead agencies are coordinating with the 
local, state and federal resource agencies during the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.
    Tribal Coordination: Formal Tribal government consultation will 
occur through government-to-government coordination.
    An agency and tribal scoping meeting will be held Thursday, October 
10, 2013. WSDOT will send invitations to agencies and Tribes.
    Public Meetings: Three public information meetings will be held in 
October 2013, including:
     Monday, October 10, 2013, 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., at the 
Bellevue College located at 3000 Landerholm Circle, SE., Bellevue, WA 
98007;
     Tuesday, October 21, 2013, 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., at Mercer 
Island High School located at 9100 SE 42nd Street, Mercer Island, WA 
98040; and
     Thursday, October 23, 2013, 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., at the 
Northwest African American Museum located at 2300 Massachusetts Street, 
Seattle, WA 98144.
    Agencies, Tribes, and the public are encouraged to submit comments 
on the revised purpose and need and preliminary range of alternatives 
during the scoping period. Comments must be received by November 6, 
2013 to be included in the formal scoping record.
    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information: All public 
information meeting locations are accessible to persons with 
disabilities. Any individual who requires special assistance, such as a 
sign language interpreter, should contact Colleen Gants, WSDOT Toll 
Division

[[Page 59415]]

Communications and External Affairs at 206-716-1150 or 
gantsc@consultant.wsdot.wa.gov at least 48 hours in advance of the 
meeting in order for WSDOT to make necessary arrangements.
    Comments received during the initial scoping process held January 
22-February 22, 2013 will be considered in the preparation of this EIS. 
To ensure that the full range of issues related to this proposed action 
is addressed, and all significant issues identified, new or additional 
comments and suggestions are invited from interested parties during the 
second scoping period. Comments concerning this proposal will be 
accepted at the public meetings or can be sent by mail to I-90 Tolling 
Project, Attention: Angela Angove, 999 Third Avenue, Suite 2200, 
Seattle, WA 98104 or email sent to i90EIScomments@wsdot.wa.gov. 
Comments must be received by November 6, 2013 to be included in the 
formal scoping record.

(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. 139, 23 CFR 771, and 40 CFR 1500-1508

    Dated: September 20, 2013.
Daniel M. Mathis,
Division Administrator, Olympia, WA.
[FR Doc. 2013-23446 Filed 9-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P

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