May 24, 2018: Initiated EA
MoDOT initiated an environmental assessment of the I-229 corridor. Hg Consult was brought in to facilitate the EA.
2018 - Now: Stakeholder Meetings
Throughout the study, the EA team has met with stakeholders within and near the I-229 corridor, as well as those who use the double-decker. These groups include, but are not limited to:
- Businesses within, and in the region, of the I-229 corridor
- Agricultural community (farmers, grain elevators, etc.)
- Freight industry (truck drivers, major shippers, ag. haulers, etc.)
- City of St. Joseph
- Chamber of Commerce
- Downtown associations
- Downtown development and revitalization organizations
- Elected officials
- Regional Planning Commission
- Metropolitan Planning Organization
Oct. 9, 2018: Public Meeting #1
Stakeholders, community leaders and the public gathered together to consider the needs and priorities of the EA and the I-229 corridor.
Nov. 1, 2018: Agency Scoping Meeting
Federal, state and local governmental units and federally-recognized tribal representatives met to discuss the EA and its impacts.
2018-2019: Initial Alternatives Developed
Using the information gathered from Public Meeting #1, Stakeholder meetings, and the Agency Scoping Meeting, twenty corridor alternatives were developed and analyzed by the EA team.
April 4, 2019: Public Meeting #2
The 20 Initial Alternatives were presented to the public in an open-house format at the Remington Nature Center. Public comments were taken at the meeting and via email.
2019-2020: Development of Reasonable Alternatives
Using the feedback from stakeholders, gathered during Public Meeting #2 and the detailed analysis of the Initial Alternatives, the EA team developed six (6) Reasonable Alternatives.
2020-2022: Detailed Analysis of Reasonable Alternatives
The EA team completed extensive analysis of the six Reasonable Alternatives.
October 2020: New Alternative Introduced
The St. Joseph Area Transportation Study Organization, the local metropolitan planning organization (MPO), brought a new alternative to the EA team.
2020-2022: Detailed Analysis of the New Alternative
The EA team incorporated the new alternative proposed by the MPO into the detailed analysis of the Reasonable Alternatives, which is now number seven (7).
May 2022: New Alternative Introduced
Newly-elected St. Joseph Mayor John Josendale proposed a new alternative on the same alignment of the current I-229 Double-Decker Bridge.
May-June 2022: Detailed Analysis of the New Alternative
The EA team put the newly proposed alternative through the same analysis as the original six Reasonable Alternatives and the alternative proposed by the MPO.
July - September 2022 Website Relaunch and Public Meeting #3
In August 2022, the revamped I-229 Moving Forward EA website was launched. An open-house style public meeting was held Sept. 1, 2022 at the Remington Nature Center. Both the public meeting and website provided an opportunity to bring the community up-to-date on where the I-229 Moving Forward EA stood, which corridor alternatives were still being considered (and why) and provided the public another opportunity to comment through Sept. 30, 2022.
Next Steps in the EA Process:
Outline is an estimated timeline of the next steps in the EA Process
- November 2022 - August 2023: The EA team will finalize the EA document for presentation to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and, based on analysis and feedback from stakeholders and the public, will select a Recommended Preferred Alternative. FHWA will then review and potentially approve and sign the EA.
- Fall 2023: The Recommended Preferred Alternative and supporting documents will be available for public review and a formal public hearing will be held. The EA team will then document and address any comments and concerns received.
- Fall/Winter 2023: FHWA will consider the Recommended Preferred Alternative and issue a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or decide there is a need to develop an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
- Winter 2023: If FHWA issues a FONSI, and the MPO includes the Recommended Preferred Alternative on their Transportation Improvement Plan, then MoDOT may begin the design process along the corridor in the what would now be considered the Preferred Alternative.
- Construction would not be anticipated to begin for 5-7 years after the environmental decision is issued by FHWA.