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What is the schedule for completing this portion of S.R. 641?
Phases III and IV are currently scheduled for construction between 2012 and 2015.
What is the purpose and need for the S.R. 641 Bypass? How was the Purpose and Need Statement developed?
As previously detailed in the approved Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), the need for the project is evidenced by the congestion on U.S. 41. The Bypass would allow local and through travelers to bypass U.S. 41 and eliminate three miles of vehicle travel from the existing 9.2 mile route between U.S. 41 and I-70. Eleven stop lights inhibit travel time along U.S. 41. Congestion would be reduced by constructing the Bypass around Terre Haute. Some common elements of the Purpose and Need include traffic statistics, existing roadway conditions and accident data.
How are environmental impacts associated with the project evaluated?
Some of the resources involved with the preparation of an Environmental Assessment are easily identified. For example, a wetland can be delineated per the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (Y-87-1). Impacts to Air Quality and Noise Analysis can be predicted using modeling programs.
Community involvement is essential in determining social impacts. The Community Impact Assessment (CIA) evaluates the effects of a transportation action on a community and its quality of life. A component of the CIA is the development of the CAC who assists the project team in identifying resources that are important to the community within the project area and provides recommendations on how to “best fit” the project into the fabric of the community while maintaining its cohesion.
Other impacts are identified through early coordination with regulatory agencies, such as, but not limited to, the Environmental Protection Agency, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. These impacts are documented in the Environmental Assessment (EA), which is approved by the FHWA and the INDOT. If appropriate, the FHWA will issue a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the project if justified in the EA. If significant impacts are identified at any point in the development of the EA, the FHWA will elevate the project to an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Why are we doing an Environmental Analysis (EA) for Phases 3 and 4 now?
In coordination with state and federal permitting agencies, as well as local government agencies, alternatives arose with merit for consideration. These alternatives had the potential to lessen the impacts to wetland, floodplain, and/or riparian forest areas or the potential to relieve adverse transportation mobility and access impacts. As such, it was decided to re-evaluate these alternatives against the selected alternative from the ROD. This re-evaluation is being completed as a stand alone Environmental Assessment (EA).
How is the Environmental Analysis of Phases 3 and 4 associated with the portion of S.R. 641 already under construction?
On March 14, 2000, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued the Record of Decision (ROD) for S.R. 641, the Terre Haute Bypass project, in Vigo County, Indiana. As approved, the new Bypass connected U.S. 41 near Bono Road to S.R. 46 at I-70. The total length of the new roadway was approximately 6.2 miles. The construction of the S.R. 641 project was divided into primarily four phases (map), with the first phase already constructed and the second phase currently under construction. Phases III and IV, however, are undergoing environmental analysis and preliminary engineering. Coordination with state and federal permitting agencies, as well as the local governmental agencies assisted in development of other alternatives that should be considered due to their perceived reduction in wetland, floodplain and riparian forest impacts. As such, the FHWA decided to re-evaluate these alternatives against the selected alternative from the ROD. This re-evaluation is being completed as a standalone Environmental Assessment (EA).
Will a noise study be completed for this project?
A noise analysis was completed for the project as part of the environmental document and adheres to the INDOT Traffic Noise Policy (January 2007) which guides the determination of whether impacted receivers would benefit from noise abatement measures and whether such measures are reasonable and feasible. The noise analysis determined that noise abatement measures are not warranted for this project.
How is this project being funded?
This project is being funded through Governor Mitch Daniels’ Major Moves initiative.
What is Major Moves?
In 2005 Governor Mitch Daniels conceived a plan – Major Moves -- to lease the Indiana Toll Road (ITR) in exchange for an upfront payment of $3.8 billion. The Indiana General Assembly approved and in April 2006, the state entered into a 75-year lease with the ITR Concession Company LLC (ITRCC) to operate and manage the Toll Road. IRTCC formally assumed responsibility for all operating and maintenance of the Indiana Toll Road on June 30, 2006. Indiana set aside $2.8 billion of the toll road lease payment to fund highway construction programs.
Major Moves enabled INDOT to launch a comprehensive transportation network construction and improvement program to begin or complete construction on more than 200 transportation projects. Major Moves also forestalled the need to raise state income or gas taxes for transportation improvements. It also allowed Indiana to avoid future debt incurred by borrowing money for highway funding -- which will save Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars in future debt obligations.
Major Moves has provided for construction and/or preservation of more than 200 road and bridge projects across Indiana. Additionally, through reinvestment of lease proceeds, using proceeds to match other funding, and coupling Major Moves funding with other revenue streams, INDOT has leveraged Major Moves funding into a more than $10 billion program through 2015.
Additional information on Major Moves can be found at: http://www.in.gov/indot/2371.htm
What is Limited Access Right-of-Way?
Right-of-way with limited access is just that, it controls the number and locations of access points along the roadway that is drives and intersections. By controlling the access to S.R. 641 the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is effectively controlling where traffic can enter onto S.R. 641. Too many access points may result in more congestion and more development of adjacent lands.
How is Right of Way acquired by INDOT?
INDOT determines what specific property needs to be acquired for a project after the project has been planned and government requirements have been met.
If your property, or a portion of it, needs to be acquired, you, the property owner, will be notified as soon as possible of (1) the agency's interest in acquiring your property, (2) the agency's obligation to secure any necessary appraisals, and (3) any other useful information.
An appraiser will contact you to make an appointment to inspect your property to determine the initial fair market value of the property. INDOT will have a review appraiser study and recommend approval of the appraisal report used to establish the just compensation to be offered to you for the property needed. This amount will never be less than the fair market value established by the approved appraisal.
If INDOT is only acquiring a part of your property, there may be damages or benefits to your remaining property. Any allowable damages or benefits will be reflected in the just compensation amount. INDOT will prepare a written offer of just compensation for you when negotiations begin.
If INDOT intends to acquire only a portion of the property, the agency must state the amount to be paid for the part to be acquired. In addition, an amount will be stated separately for damages, if any, to the portion of the property you will keep.
When you reach agreement with INDOT on the offer, you will be asked to sign an option to buy, a purchase agreement, an easement, or some form of deed prepared by INDOT or it’s representatives. Your signature will affirm that you and the agency are in agreement concerning the acquisition of the property, including terms and conditions.
If you do not reach an agreement with the agency because of some important point connected with the acquisition offer, the agency may suggest mediation as a means of coming to agreement. If the agency thinks that a settlement cannot be reached, it will initiate condemnation proceedings.
I received a Notice of Survey in the mail. What does this mean?
The Notice of Survey was sent to you as a courtesy notification that field work will be conducted in your area. The intent of the fieldwork is to identify and map known environmental resources in the project area. All necessary investigations will be conducted from the public right-of-way where possible. It may be necessary for our staff to enter your property for a specific purpose such as to identify a wetland resource. This is permitted by law under Indiana Code IC 8-23-7-26. All field staff will be wearing orange vests and have been instructed to identify themselves to you.
I live along the proposed route of SR 641. How will this project impact my property or workplace?
Several potential design alternatives are being considered. At this time, it is not known how each alternative would specifically impact your property. Each alternative will be individually evaluated to determine if it would meet the Purpose and Need for the project. If the alternatives do not meet the Purpose and Need for the project, they will be dismissed from further consideration.
What are my relocation benefits if my house or business must be removed from the new Right of Way?
Individuals, families, businesses or farms displaced by a Federal or federally assisted program may be offered relocation assistance services for the purpose of locating a suitable replacement property. Relocation services are provided by qualified personnel employed by INDOT. It is their goal and desire to be of service to you, and assist to help you successfully relocate.