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Friday, May 22

RMA has posted US 281 EIS

If you understand the headline for this post, you either pay a LOT of attention to what's happening on U.S. 281 (as far as our future plans, etc.), or you speak Transpo Lingo.

In an email sent out this morning, the Alamo Area Regional Mobility Authority (Alamo RMA) has announced the completion of its Environmental Impact Statement and has published it for public review.

Future development on U.S. 281 - including added travel lanes and four direct connector ramps from Loop 1604 to U.S. 281 (on the north side of the interchange, finishing the work that was done a couple of years ago) - is being led by the Alamo RMA. Because they are the lead agency on this project, it's only fair we do what we can to make sure interested parties are pointed in the right direction.

With that, here is the notice of availability from the RMA:


Notice of Availability - Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) US 281, Bexar County, Texas
Pursuant to Texas Administrative Code, Title 43, §2.108, and Code of Federal Regulations, Section 771.125, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is advising the public of the availability of the approved FEIS for the proposed construction on US 281, from Loop 1604 to Borgfeld Drive in Bexar County, Texas. The proposed project is being developed with the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (Alamo RMA) in cooperation with TxDOT. The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried out by TxDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 16, 2014, and executed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and TxDOT.

The US 281 Corridor Project would extend approximately 8 miles, add additional travel lanes, and would include four direct connector ramps that comprise the northern half of the US 281 interchange with Loop 1604. A total of two build alternatives, in addition to the No-Build Alternative, are presented in the FEIS. The Preferred Alternative would expand the US 281 to a six-lane expressway with partial access-controlled outer lanes. From Loop 1604 to Stone Oak Parkway, the expressway lanes would include two non-toll general purpose lanes with an auxiliary lane plus one managed lane in each direction. The expressway lanes would be situated between three partial access-controlled outer lanes in each direction, also known as frontage roads. From Stone Oak Parkway to Borgfeld Drive, US 281 would ultimately be expanded to a six-lane expressway (three managed lanes in each direction) with two non-toll outer lanes in each direction. The social, economic, and environmental impacts of the proposed project have been analyzed in the FEIS.

The need for improvements to US 281 arises from historic and continuing trends in population and employment growth along the US 281 project corridor and within the surrounding areas. This growth generates increasing amounts of vehicle travel, which in turn impedes the function of US 281 to provide regional mobility and local access, leading to lengthy travel delays and a high rate of vehicle crashes. The purpose of the US 281 Corridor Project is to improve mobility and accessibility, enhance safety, and improve community quality of life.

A digital version of the FEIS may be downloaded from the project website at http://www.411on281.com/us281eis/. In addition, the document is on file and available for review at the following locations: (1) Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (c/o Bexar County Public Works), 233 North Pecos La Trinidad, Suite 420, San Antonio, TX 78207; (2) Texas Department of Transportation, 4615 N.W. Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78229; (3) Parman Branch Library at Stone Oak, 20735 Wilderness Oak, San Antonio, TX 78258; (4) Brook Hollow Branch Library, 530 Heimer Road, San Antonio, TX 78232; and (5) San Antonio Central Library, 600 Soledad Street, San Antonio, TX 78205.

Copies of the Final EIS and other information about the project may also be requested in writing from Jacobs Engineering Group, Attention Andrew Cooper, 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 300, Austin, Texas 78746 or by email at Andrew.Cooper@jacobs.com. DVD copies may be obtained free of charge, and paper copies for a fee of approximately $1,000.00.

Comments regarding the FEIS may be submitted to Jacobs Engineering Group, Attention Andrew Cooper, 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 300, Austin, Texas 78746. Comments will also be accepted at http://www.411on281.com/us281eis/ under Submit Comments.

The comment period closes on June 22, 2015.
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