Last Opportunity for Public Comment!
Between 2010 and 2014, The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) conducted an environmental study of I-70 in Jackson County. The study is a Second Tier Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the future I-70 from The Paseo interchange to the Blue Ridge Cutoff interchange.
Due to budget constraints, MoDOT suspended the project development process for improvements to I-70 between January 2015 and June 2016. MoDOT has now reactivated the environmental review process and is preparing to finalize the draft EIS in order to move the project forward. As a result, MoDOT and FHWA intend to proceed as follows:
- Present a refined preferred alternative that was identified in the DEIS. The preferred alternative was refined in response to DEIS comments including: requests to maintain additional access points, to avoid cul-de-sacs on local roads, and to reduce the number of properties that will need to be acquired. The information packet posted on this site includes maps for your review that illustrate the preferred alternative as presented in the DEIS along with the refinements Also attached are a list of the refinements made to the preferred alternative and a table describing the changes in impacts of the preferred alternative as a result of the refinements. MoDOT’s commitment to move this project forward is evidenced by the preferred alternative listing in the fiscally constrained Long Range Transportation Plan developed by the Mid-America Regional Council and in MoDOT’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
- MoDOT and FHWA propose to combine the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) in accordance with provisions on environmental documentation in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, selecting the Preferred Alternative
- MoDOT and FHWA will address all agency and public comments from the DEIS in the combined FEIS/ROD. A copy of the DEIS comments and MoDOT/FHWA’s responses are included with this letter. The combining of the FEIS and ROD means that there will be no comment period on the FEIS. However, MoDOT and FHWA invite comments now based on information provided in this packet. MoDOT anticipates completing the combined FEIS/ROD by April 2017. MoDOT and FHWA request that you provide any comments or concerns on the enclosed information and the decision to complete a combined FEIS and ROD within a 30-day comment period (ending on March 16, 2017). This will be the last opportunity for you to provide comments that would be considered by MoDOT and FHWA as part of the environmental review process.
Comments are due on this letter and packet no later than March 16, 2017. Comments may be submitted to Gerri.Doyle@modot.mo.gov or mailed to the following address:
Transportation Planning Coordinator
Kansas City District
600 NE Colbern Rd
Lee’s Summit, MO 64086
If you wish to discuss the information contained in this packet or have questions, please contact Matt Killion, MoDOT Area Engineer at Matthew.Killion@modot.mo.gov.
Click HERE to review EIS Update Information Packet.
Why did MoDOT do the study?
I-70 is a critical regional and state corridor that was originally constructed over 50 years ago. With proper maintenance, this facility has outlasted its original design life of 20 years. The stretch of I-70 in the study is currently experiencing deteriorating pavement and bridges, traffic delays and congestion, and merging and weaving at interchanges.
The Second Tier EIS will build on and extend the work of the I-70 First Tier EIS for future I-70 that results in the best possible plan to improve the safety and conditions of I-70.
The study resulted in suggested improvements totaling $265 million and included everything from the bus-on-shoulder concept to reduce congestion to completely rebuilding the I-435 and I-70 interchange. See a complete list of preferred changes.
What is the study area?
The study area includes all land within 200 feet of the I-70 First Tier EIS Selected Strategy (Improve Key Bottlenecks) defined footprint from west of The Paseo interchange to east of the Blue Ridge Cutoff interchange in Jackson County, Missouri. Download the study area map here.
What is the project timeline?
The study lasted 34 months and concluded in summer 2014.
Will the study lead to construction projects?
Since the beginning of the study, some of the recommendations have been complete or in the design phase. For example, rebuilding the bridges at Manchester Trafficway was complete in December 2015. Rebuilding the I-435 and I-70 interchange to remove left-hand exits is currently in design. Review all of the recommendations for improvement and leave your comments!
Developing transportation improvements involves four phases:
The I-70 Second Tier EIS is in the environmental phase. The remaining design and construction phases are contingent upon available funding. Anywhere from a few to many years could be needed to complete the entire process.
Click here for more information on how an idea becomes a road.