Public Hearing Held Oct 3, 2002 at Klondike Elementary

The public hearing was held October 3, 2002 at Klondike Elementary School. Over 215 people were in attendance to collect information regarding the status of the overall project and to view results of the Draft Environmental Document, which identifies Line 7 as the recommended preferred alternative. Presentations regarding the format of the hearing and the status of the project were given by Mary Wright (INDOT Public Hearings Examiner) and Wendy Vachet (Project Manager for INDOT's project consultant, Michael Baker Jr., Inc.). Immediately following the presentations, public comments were heard. Information packets and comment sheets were provided to all in attendance. This information can be found below.

The official comment period for the Draft Environmental Document ended October 18, 2002. Thank you to those that submitted comments. The comments received on the document will be part of the official public hearing transcript and addressed in the Final Environmental Document. To view the comments on the Draft Environmental Document, click here (1.46 MB PDF).

You may continue to provide general comments and feedback on the project. However, the comments received after October 18 will not be considered official public hearing comments nor will they be addressed in the Final Environmental Document. General comments are considered as an overall part of the public involvement process for the project. Advance to the feedback page to submit your comments. You may view all public comments on the Draft Environmental Document by clicking here (1.46 MB PDF).


Information Provided at Public Hearing:



Public Meeting #2 Held

The second public meeting was held on June 6, 2002 at Klondike Middle School. Over 170 people were in attendance to collect information regarding the status of the overall project and the results of the preliminary alternative analysis. A brief presentation about the status of the project was given by Wendy Vachet (Project Manager for INDOT's project consultant, Michael Baker Jr., Inc.). Patricia Mason (CAC Spokesperson) also presented information regarding the role and activities of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC). Immediately following the two presentations, public comments were heard. Information packets and comment sheets were provided to all in attendance. This information can be found on the public meeting page.

Comments regarding this meeting will be accepted through June 21 via this website's feedback page, via mail (Wendy Vachet, Project Manager, Michael Baker Jr., Inc., 701 E. 83rd Avenue, Merrillville, IN 46410) or via fax (to Wendy Vachet - 219-755-0233).



Information Provided at Meeting #2:


Handout:

Project Background

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), in association with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), currently is re-evaluating alternatives originally proposed as part of the 1987 environmental impact study for the relocation of US 231 from south of the Wabash River to US 52. That study was done in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In June 2001, the southern segment of the project, including the new bridge crossing the Wabash River as well as improvements to South River Road, were completed and opened for traffic. The planned middle segment between South River Road and State Street is currently undergoing final design.

The northern segment of the project was planned to alleviate traffic congestion on the Purdue Campus by re-routing US 231 to the west. Several alternatives were studied as part of the 1987 study, and a preferred alternative was selected in a 1992 Record of Decision. However, significant developments west of the campus have necessitated that the original alternatives be re-evaluated. Therefore, INDOT is taking another look at the project to determine the best alternative, including a possible "No-Build" alternative, to meet current needs while avoiding or minimizing environmental impacts to the area.

INDOT will make the final decision on what alternatives will be eliminated from further study and which alternatives will be carried forward for detailed study in the Environmental Assessment (AFTER CAC and comments from this public meeting are received).

Submit Your Comments

Comments on information presented at this public meeting, as well as comments about the project in general, can be submitted by going to the feedback page.

Synopsis of First Public Meeting

The first public meeting was held on January 17, 2002 at Purdue University's Stewart Center. The purpose of this meeting was to introduce the eight initial alternatives for the continuation of the US 231 Relocation Project between State Street (SR 26) and US 52.

Over 275 people were in attendance to collect information relating to the project history, potential alternatives, and the NEPA process. A brief presentation was given by Wendy Vachet (Project Manager for INDOT's project consultant, Michael Baker Jr., Inc.), about the history of the project and the current study, after which individual comments were heard. Comment sheets were included in the meeting handout packet for written questions and comments. All information presented at the meeting can be found on the project website (www.relocate231.com/pubmtg.htm) or in the project repository (located in the Area Plan Commission's office in the Tippecanoe County Building - 20 N 3rd Street, Lafayette).

The results of comments received thus far are included in the project's first newsletter. Comments will be accepted throughout the life of the project via the project website, mail, and fax (see 'Submit Your Comments above).


Community Advisory Committee

The US 231 Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is a group of approximately 20 individuals formed to facilitate the transfer of information between the community and state transportation officials regarding the proposed relocation of US 231 from SR 26 to US 52. Public Involvement is considered an essential component of the current effort to evaluate the potential social, economic and environmental impacts of the proposed road. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) maintain ultimate authority over all decisions regarding the project; however, the CAC serves in an important advisory role. Information from the CAC workshops will be used to develop a Community Impact Assessment Report for the project.

The CAC is comprised of community members and representatives with a variety of affiliations including:

  • Area Plan Commission Parks & Recreation Departments
  • Neighborhood Associations City Offices
  • Purdue University Wabash and Shelby Township Offices
  • Local Community Groups

The Committee held its first workshop on April 11, 2002. Representatives of INDOT's project consultant, Michael Baker Jr., Inc., provided CAC members with data and aerial maps of the project study area displaying current and proposed land use and development patterns in relationship to several potential road alignments. Committee members were asked to review and edit the data and maps and take their findings back to other members of their neighborhoods and organizations. Documents and photographs from that meeting, as well as a wealth of additional information about the overall US 231 study is posted on the project website (www.relocate231.com/cac.htm).

The Committee's second workshop was held on May 16, 2002. Topics of discussion included a review of the mapping and land use edits from the previous meeting, a discussion of historic resources located in the study area, a discussion of the alternatives analysis, and ideas for developing and distributing the project newsletter for the local community.

You may view the CAC meeting materials by visiting the project website (www.relocate231.com/cac.htm) or the project repository (located in the Area Plan Commission's office in the Tippecanoe County Building - 20 N 3rd Street, Lafayette). Please keep in mind that the information provided to the CAC is in DRAFT form and is preliminary information being presented to INDOT.


Project Repository

A repository for project documents has been established in the Area Plan Commission offices (located in the Tippecanoe County Building - 20 N 3rd Street, Lafayette). This is a location where citizens can go to view hard copies of various project documents and regulations. The repository includes the following items: 1987 DEIS, 1992 FEIS, 1992 Wetland Finding/ROD, 1997 Reciprocal Agreement, the 2015 Comprehensive Plan for Tippecanoe County, INDOT and FHWA procedure manuals, project mapping, Draft Section 106 Report, printout of project website, handout material from public meetings, public comments, Community Advisory Committee (CAC) binder, Focus on the Future document, prior project engineering reports, etc.


Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA)

What is Section 106 review? Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) requires Federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. The review process is administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), along with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA/agency) and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). The historic preservation review process mandated by Section 106 is outlined in regulations issued by the Council. Revised regulations, "Protection of Historic Properties" (36 CFR Part 800), became effective January 11, 2001, and are summarized below.

Why was Section 106 created? NHPA was enacted because of public concern that so many of our Nation's historic resources were not receiving adequate attention as the Government sponsored much-needed public works projects. In the 1960s, Federal preservation law applied only to a handful of nationally significant properties, and Congress recognized that new legislation was needed to protect the many other historic properties that were being harmed by Federal activities.

What does NHPA say? Section 106 of NHPA requires that every Federal agency "take into account" how each of its undertakings could affect historic properties. An agency must also afford the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment on the project.

What is a Federal "undertaking"? This term includes a broad range of Federal activities: construction, rehabilitation and repair projects, demolition, licenses, permits, loans, loan guarantees, grants, Federal property transfers, and many other types of Federal involvement. Whenever one of these activities affects a historic property, the sponsoring agency is obligated to seek Council comments.

What is a historic property? For purposes of Section 106, any property listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places is considered historic.

The National Register is this country's basic inventory of historic resources and is maintained by the Secretary of the Interior. The list includes buildings, structures, objects, sites, districts, and archaeological resources. The listed properties are not just of nationwide importance; most are significant primarily at the State or local level. It is important to note that the protections of Section 106 extend to properties that possess significance but have not yet been listed or formally determined eligible for listing. Even properties that have not yet been discovered (such as archeological properties), but possess significance, are subject to Section 106 review.

What is the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation? The 20-member Council is composed of four members of the general public (including the chairman and vice chairman), four historic preservation experts, a Native American or Native Hawaiian, a governor, a mayor, seven federal agency heads, and two ex-officio representatives of national preservation organizations--all appointed by the President of the United States.

Section 106 Participants
The Federal agency involved in the proposed project or activity is responsible for initiating and completing the Section 106 review process. Under certain circumstances, local governmental bodies may act as the responsible agency. The agency works with the State Historic Preservation Officer (an official appointed in each State or territory to administer the national historic preservation program) and the Council to do so. There can be other participants in Section 106 review as well. At times, local governments, representatives of Indian tribes, applicants for Federal grants, licenses or permits, and others may join in the review process when it affects their interests or activities.

The following is a list of consulting parties for this project:

  • Angela Bowen, Wabash Valley Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Mark Dollase, Historic Landmarks Foundation
  • John P. Froman, NAGPRA Principal Chief, Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma
  • James F. Howell, Shelby Township Historical Association
  • Julie Olds, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma
  • David M. Scholes, Delaware Nation
  • Jon Smith, State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology

Section 106 Step-by-Step

1. Undertaking Determination - Determines if the proposed project or action is an "undertaking" by deciding whether the proposed action could result in changes in the character or use of any historic properties. If there is an undertaking, but it does not present a type of activity that has the potential to have an effect on a historic property, then the Section 106 obligations are complete.

It is also necessary to plan on involving the public and to identify any consulting parties (i.e., local governments, Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and applicants for Federal assistance or permits, etc.).

2. Identifying Historic Properties - Includes preliminary work, actual efforts to identify properties, and an evaluation of identified properties to determine whether they are "historic;" i.e., they are listed on, or are eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

When properties are found that may be historic but have not been evaluated, the agency and SHPO consult about eligibility for each property.

If the property is found to be ineligible, appropriate documentation must be given to the SHPO/THPO and consulting parties must be notified. Once adequate documentation is received, the SHPO/THPO has 30 days to object to the determination. The Council may also object on its own initiative within the time period. Lack of such objection within the 30-day period means that the agency has completed its Section 106 responsibilities.

If the property is found to be eligible, the effects of the undertaking on the property must be assessed and consulting parties must be notified.

3. Assessing Effects - Once eligible historic properties have been identified, it is then determined whether the proposed undertaking could affect the properties. The criteria of effect and adverse effect are used to determine potential effects on historic properties.

The criteria of adverse effect states that "an adverse effect is found when an undertaking may alter, directly or indirectly, any of the characteristics of a historic property that qualify the property for inclusion in the National Register in a manner that would diminish the integrity of the property's location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, or association… Adverse effects may include reasonably foreseeable effects caused by the undertaking that may occur later in time, be farther removed in distance or be cumulative." [36 CFR 800.5(a)]

When applying the criteria of effect and adverse effect, there are three possible findings:

  • No Effect: There is no effect of any kind, neither harmful nor beneficial, on the historic properties. The proposed undertaking may proceed.
  • No Adverse Effect: There could be an effect, but the effect would not be harmful to those characteristics that qualify the property for inclusion in the national register. Project documentation must be submitted to the Council for concurrence.
  • Adverse Effect: There could be an effect, and that effect could harm characteristics that qualify the property for inclusion in the national register. Consultation must begin with the SHPO/THPO and the Council to seek ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the adverse effects.

4. Resolve Adverse Effects - The agency consults to resolve adverse effects with the SHPO/THPO and others (i.e., Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, local governments, permit or license applicants, and members of the public). The Council may participate in consultation when there are substantial impacts to important historic properties, when a case presents important questions of policy or interpretation, when there is a potential for procedural problems, or when there are issues of concern to Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations.

Consultation usually results in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which outlines agreed-upon measures that the agency will take to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the adverse effects. In some cases, the consulting parties may agree that no such measures are possible, but that the adverse effects must be accepted in the public interest. If an MOA is executed, the agency proceeds with its undertaking under the terms of the MOA.

If consultation proves unproductive and the adverse effect(s) cannot be resolved, the agency or the SHPO/THPO*, or the Council itself, may terminate consultation. If a SHPO terminates consultation, the agency and the Council may conclude an MOA without SHPO involvement. However, if a THPO* terminates consultation and the undertaking is on or affecting historic properties on tribal lands, the Council must provide its comments. The agency must submit appropriate documentation to the Council and request the Council's written comments. The agency head must take into account the Council's written comments in deciding how to proceed.

5. Proceed with Project - As stated in Step 4, if an MOA is executed, the agency proceeds with its undertaking under the terms of the agreement.

Helpful Websites:

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

FHWA Indiana Division Section 106 Consultation Procedures


Alternatives Analysis

Introduction:

  • History of Alternatives Considered for the Project
  • Range of Alternatives to Complete the Project
  • Alternatives Reduction Analysis/Screening Process
  • Alternatives Eliminated From Detailed Study
  • Alternatives Carried Forward for Detailed Study

History of Alternatives Considered (Previous Documents):

  • Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Relocation of US 231 and Wabash River Crossing, 1987 (DEIS)
  • Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Relocation of US 231 and Wabash River Crossing, 1992 (FEIS)
  • Record of Decision, 1992 (ROD)

Alternative Reduction Analysis:

Develop and Consider Environmental Constraints

  • Existing Information (State and Local agencies)
  • Previous Environmental Documents
  • Secondary Sources (FEMA, Aerial Photos, Wetland Mapping)
  • Preliminary Field Reconnaissance
  • Community Impact Assessment Development
  • Public Involvement Activities

Screening Criteria

  • Purpose and Need Requirements (Traffic and Land Use)
  • Additional Environmental Considerations (Floodplains, etc.) and potential 4(f) Resources
  • Residential Displacements/Community Issues
  • Additional Factors to Determine Reasonableness

Any alternative not meeting the objectives of the screening criteria was eliminated from detailed study.


No-Build: Carried forward per CEO and FHWA regulations

Line 1: The Original Preferred Alternative (ROD 1996) - will be carried forward

Line 2: Eliminated due to impacts associated with Celery Bog and has the largest # of displacements (over 300+) due to Blackbird Farms and other existing developments. (This alternative was developed during the DEIS and dismissed in the 1996 FEIS)

Line 3: Eliminated due to potential impacts related to Klondike Schools and has the second largest # of displacements. (This alternative was developed during the DEIS and dismissed during the 1987 DEIS)

Line 4: Eliminated because it does not adequately meet the purpose and need for the proposed action and will not be carried forward for detailed study.

Line 5: Eliminated because it does not adequately meet the purpose and need for the proposed action and will not be carried forward for detailed study. Also has the third highest # of displacements.

Line 6: Eliminated because it does not adequately meet the purpose and need for the proposed action and will not be carried forward for detailed study.

Line 8: Eliminated because it does not adequately meet the purpose and need for the proposed action and will not be carried forward for detailed study.
 
Alternatives Eliminated from Detailed Study:

  • Build Alternative Line 2
  • Build Alternative Line 3
  • Build Alternative Line 4
  • Build Alternative Line 5
  • Build Alternative Line 6
  • Build Alternative Line 8

Alternatives Carried Forward for Detailed Study:

  • No-Build Alternative
  • Build Alternative Line 1 (Original Preferred)
  • Build Alternative Line 7
  • Build Alternative Line 9
  • Build Alternative Line 10

Public Involvement and Community Impact Assessment

  • Public Information Kick-Off Meeting Held January 17, 2002
  • Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Initiated to Facilitate Transfer of Information Between the Local Community and State Transportation Officials
  • CAC Kick-Off Meeting Held April 11, 2002
  • Public Information Meeting #2 held June 6, 2002
  • Additional CAC and Public Information Meetings to
    be Conducted Throughout the Study Proces

Conclusion

The No-Build Alternative, and Build Alternative alignments, Line 1 (the original Preferred Alternative) Line 7, Line 9 and Line 10,
will been recommended to INDOT to be carried forward for detailed study based on the alternative screening process. These alternatives will be fully evaluated for potential environmental consequences in the Environmental Assessment.


Public Kickoff Meeting

The first public meeting was held on January 17, 2002 at Purdue University's Stewart Center. The purpose of this meeting was to introduce the eight initial alternatives for the continuation of the US 231 Relocation Project between State Street (SR 26) and US 52. Over 275 people were in attendance to collect information relating to the project history, potential alternatives, and the NEPA process. A brief presentation was given by Wendy Vachet (Project Manager for INDOT's project consultant, Michael Baker Jr., Inc.), about the history of the project and the current study, after which individual comments were heard.

Comment sheets were included in the meeting handout packet (see below) for written questions and comments. The results of comments received thusfar are included in the project's first newsletter. Comments will be accepted throughout the life of the project via this website's feedback page.



Information Provided at Kickoff Meeting:


(Click the logo above to download the free Acrobat Reader.)




Handout:

1.0 INTRODUCTION

In 1992, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Tippecanoe County, Lafayette, and West Lafayette jointly initiated a project to relocate US 231 and construct a new bridge over the Wabash River. The project's Preferred Alternative (PA), as identified in the 1985 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and the 1992 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), consisted of "Line A" from south of CR 500S to Harrison Bridge (including a Wabash River crossing), and "Line 1" from South River Road to US 52. Since the September 1992 Record of Decision (ROD), Line A and the Wabash River Crossing have been constructed. Line 1 of the PA has not been constructed at this time.

In the interval between the ROD and the current period, there have been noticeable changes in the landscape due to new construction and development within the original Line 1 Project Area. The original Project Area is experiencing a period of rapid development that is primarily confined to the eastern third of the area. In that area, there are several new subdivisions under construction. Because of this development, FHWA and INDOT have decided to reevaluate the build alternatives for the area north of the Wabash River and initiate an environmental document in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended.

INDOT, on behalf of the FHWA, is also reinitiating the Section 106 Review and Coordination process with the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (IDHPA) in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's current regulations of 36 CFR 800, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and other applicable laws and regulations.

2.0 PROJECT HISTORY

In September 1978, the Transportation Plan for the Lafayette area was documented in a report entitled Greater Lafayette Area Transportation and Development Study. This plan, which was adopted by the Area Plan Commission of Tippecanoe County (TCAPC), included a project to construct a new highway (US 231) with a new Wabash River crossing. The road was envisioned to begin near CR 350S, cross over the Wabash River, pass between the Purdue University Airport and the campus, and tie into the west side of West Lafayette. According to the report, "this highway would alleviate congestion on two principal Wabash River bridges and improve access to West Lafayette and Purdue University."

In 1981, a Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Tippecanoe County was adopted. The 1978 Study was included in this plan.

In 1984, the City of West Lafayette, supported by the Tippecanoe County Commissioners and the City of Lafayette, obtained an agreement with the Indiana Department of Highways to proceed with the US 231 project.

In 1986, a proposed relocation of US 231 with a South River Bridge crossing was included in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) of the TCAPC and Indiana Department of Highways Improvement Program (HIP). In addition, the 1981 Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Tippecanoe County was updated by the TCAPC in response to an announcement that the Subaru-Isuzu partnership would build and operate a major automobile assembly plant in south Lafayette. The increased employment from this plant with its associated growth required an improved highway system. The Subaru-Isuzu Site Impact Study, Levee Plaza Business Area Transportation Plan, and Strategic Plan for West Lafayette also stressed the importance of the highway system. The relocation of US 231 with a Wabash River crossing was considered to be an integral part of those plans.

In 1987, a DEIS for the relocation of US 231 was developed and approved for circulation. The DEIS discussed a No-Build alternative; a Transportation System Management (TSM) plan; and five Build alternatives which included three alternatives for segments south of the Wabash River and two alternatives north of the river. All of the alternatives south of the river began at either County Road 350S or 550S and, following an approximately 2,000-foot bridge constructed over the Wabash River, ended at South River Road in West Lafayette. The two north alternatives began at South River Road and ended at US 52 and Cumberland Avenue.

In addition to the Build alternatives, the DEIS addressed several system improvements. These improvements were deemed crucial for the success of the Build alternatives in reducing traffic flow problems in Lafayette, West Lafayette and Tippecanoe County. The improvements included: extending CR 350S between US 231 and CR 50E; widening South River Road from the Conrail overpass to Harrison Bridge; extending Harrison Street from Chauncey Street to South River Road (.25 miles); and constructing new ramps at the Harrison Bridge Interchange.

The DEIS concluded that the Build alternatives improved traffic conditions over the No-Build alternative by: "providing a safer and quicker route between the Purdue Campus/West Lafayette and the south side of Lafayette; reducing congestion and delay on US 231, Fourth Street, State Street and Grant Street; improving access to the south part of Purdue using the Harrison Street extension; opening up the Harrison Bridge and River Road interchange to access from all directions; and reducing accidents on State Street, Fourth street, Third Street and US 231."

In 1992, a FEIS was developed and approved. A preferred alternative was selected based on four evaluation criteria developed in the Purpose and Need section of the DEIS. These criteria were: 1) conformity to existing transportation plan(s); 2) existing traffic and accident characteristics; 3) future land use developments; and 4) future traffic assignments.

The preferred alternative identified in the FEIS consisted of "Line A" from south of CR 500S to Harrison Bridge and "Line 1" from South River Road to US 52. Construction of the southern section was slated to begin in 1993, while construction of the northern section was not planned to "occur in the immediate future."

In September 1992, the FHWA issued a ROD for the project. The ROD summarized the FEIS and concluded that the preferred alternative better met the purpose and need for the project than the other Build alternatives, the No-Build and TSM alternatives, while minimizing social, economic and environmental impacts to the area.

In 1997, the TCAPC adopted the Transportation Plan for 2015, a part of the Comprehensive Plan for Tippecanoe County. The plan called for the completion by 2000 of the southern segment of the US 231 project from south of CR 500S to SR 25; the segment from SR 25 across the Wabash River (including the new bridge) to South River Road; the segment from South River Road to Harrison Bridge; and the exit and on ramps at Harrison Bridge. For the period between 2001 and 2010, the plan called for extending US 231 from South River Road north, east around the Purdue Airport, then north and west around the Purdue University campus to a northern terminus at US 52. Finally, for the period between 2010 and 2015, the plan called for upgrading and widening of McCormick Lane from US 52 to CR 500N to create an "outer loop" for West Lafayette and a connection to the new US 231.

In May 2001, the TCAPC adopted the Transportation Plan for 2025. With the southern segment, new bridge, and northern segment up to the Harrison Bridge having been completed, the remaining work called for by the plan includes: taking US 231 from South River Road to US 52, as described in the 1997 Plan; the improvements previously described for McCormick Road; and the extension of Intramural Drive south through the Purdue University campus to meet realigned US 231. For the period between 2011 and 2025, the plan calls for continued construction northward from US 52 to a new interchange at I-65 in order to complete a circular by-pass around Lafayette and West Lafayette. US 231 between Bloomington and Lafayette, Indiana is part of the National Highway System. It also has been identified as a Statewide Mobility Corridor in INDOT's 2000-2025 Long-Range Plan.

In June 2001, the southern segment of the project, including the new bridge crossing the Wabash River as well as improvements to South River Road, were completed and opened for traffic. The project segment between South River Road and US 26 (around the Purdue Airport) is undergoing final engineering review.

Also in June 2001, further environmental documentation for the northern segment of the US 231 Relocation Project was initiated by the Project Coordination Team consisting of FHWA, INDOT, TCAPC (MPO) and Michael Baker Jr., Inc. (consultant). The purpose of the environmental documentation is to determine if there are changes in the proposed action that would result in significant environmental impacts that were not evaluated in the EIS, or new information or circumstances relevant to environmental concerns and bearings on the proposed action or its impacts that result in significant environmental impacts not evaluated in the EIS.

3.0 SYNOPSIS OF ALTERNATIVES TO BE CONSIDERED

Currently, alternatives to be considered include the "No-Build" alternative, TCAPC alignment from the 2025 plan, three "Build" alternatives carried forward from the previous EIS, two improvements to existing roadways and two to three additional "Build" alternatives to be determined west of the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad tracks.

The "No-Build" alternative includes no new construction for upgrading or realigning US 231 north of SR 26. This alternative takes into account the completed southern segment of the project, including the new bridge crossing the Wabash River as well as improvements to South River Road; and the segment between South River Road and SR 26, which is slated for construction.

For the "Build" alternative, seven alignments are under consideration (See Figure 1). Of these, two correspond to alignments carried forward from the 1987 DEIS and 1992 FEIS.

  • Line 1 corresponds to Line 1 from the DEIS, which was selected as the Preferred Alternative for the FEIS. Beginning at SR 26, approximately 800 feet east of the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad, Line 1 heads in a northwest direction to just past SR 126 (Cherry Lane) where it turns north crossing CR 200N (Lindberg Road) at McCormick Road. Continuing north for approximately 1.0 mile, Line 1 turns east and terminates with existing US 231/52 in line with Cumberland Avenue. The total length of Line 1 is 18,039 linear feet (approximately 3.4 miles). A 300-foot right-of-way and depressed grass median were assumed on this alignment.

  • Line 2 corresponds to Line 2 from the DEIS. The southern terminus of this alignment was proposed to connect with the northern terminus of Line B (as described in the DEIS) at SR 26 and SR 526 (Airport Road). From there it heads northerly, parallel to the east of the SR 526 right-of-way, to an intersection with SR 126 (Cherry Lane). It then heads northwest crossing CR 200N (Lindberg Road) approximately 1,570 feet east of the McCormick Road intersection. It then heads northeasterly to its termination perpendicular with existing US 231/52 at the Cumberland Avenue intersection. The total length of Line 2 is 14,353 linear feet (approximately 2.7 miles). A 300-foot right-of-way and depressed grass median were assumed for this alignment.

Additional Alignments currently under consideration include:

  • Line 3 corresponds to Discarded Line 3 from the DEIS: Beginning at SR 26, approximately 800 feet east of the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad, Line 3 heads northwest along the eastside right-of-way of the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad for approximately 2 miles to where it crosses CR 200N (Lindberg Road). From there it heads northeast for approximately 0.5 miles where it ties to existing McCormick Road. It then travels existing McCormick Road for approximately 0.3 miles, terminating at existing US 52 across from CR 250W. The total length of Line 3 is 17,277 linear feet (approximately 3.3 miles). A 300 foot right-of-way and depressed grass median were assumed for this alignment, with the center line of Line 3 assumed to be 800 feet east of the center line of the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad to meet the required 800 to 1,000 feet clear zone.

  • Line 4: New Alignment. Beginning at SR 26, approximately 800 feet east of the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad, Line 4 heads northwest were it crosses the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad tracks approximately 1,400 feet north of the SR 26 railroad crossing. It then runs northwest along the western side of the railroad right-of-way crossing both CR 200N (Lindberg Road) and CR 250N. Approximately 1,820 feet north of CR 250N, Line 4 crosses the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad tracks again and continues northward for approximately 0.7 miles, terminating at US 52 approximately 1,800 feet west of the intersection of US 52 and CR 300W. The total length of Line 4 is 18,487 linear feet (approximately 3.5 miles). A 300 foot right-of-way and depressed grass median were assumed on this alignment, with the center line of Line 4 assumed to be 800 feet west of the center line of the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad to meet the required 800 to 1,000 feet clear zone.

  • Line 5: New Alignment. Beginning at SR 26, near Newman Road, Line 5 heads northwest along the centerline of SR 26, upgrading SR 26 from a two lane facility to a four lane divided facility with a concrete median barrier, and also upgrading the existing railroad crossing on SR 26. Line 5 continues along existing SR 26, intersecting and/or crossing CR 250W, CR 300W, CR 325W, CR 400W, CR 200N and CR 475W and improving the radii of three existing horizontal curves before turning northeast approximately 0.6 miles past the intersection of CR 475W. Line 5 then crosses CR 350N were it terminates with US 52. The total length of Line 5 is 25,874 linear feet (approximately 4.9 miles). A 150-foot right-of-way and concrete median barrier were assumed on this alignment.

  • Line 6: New Alignment. Beginning at SR 26, near Newman Road, Line 6 follows the same path as Line 5 for approximately 0.4 miles, crossing the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad. It then turns in a westerly direction crossing CR 250W and running along the northern edge of the Purdue University Horticulture Farm. It then crosses CR 350W, turns and heads north for approximately 0.5 miles where it turns northwest crossing CR 400W. Line 6 then continues in a northwesterly direction for approximately 1.4 miles, crossing SR 26. Prior to crossing CR 600W, Line 6 turns north crossing Jackson Highway, CR 350N, Hoover Road and US 52. It then turns west and terminates with SR 53/US231 approximately 1,550 feet north of US 52. The total length of Line 6 is 35,389 linear feet (approximately 6.7 miles). A 300-foot right-of-way and depressed grass median were assumed on this alignment.

  • Line 7: TCAPC Alignment from 2025 Plan. Beginning at SR 26, approximately 800 feet east of the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad, Line 7 heads in a northwesterly direction to just past SR 126 (Cherry Lane) where it turns north until it ties in with McCormick Road, north of the McCormick Road Lindberg Road intersection. Line 7, as an improved McCormick Road from this point onward, turns northwest, improving four horizontal radii along McCormick Road until finally turning north and terminating at US 52. The total length of Line 7 is 16,357 linear feet (approximately 3.1 miles). A 150-foot right-of-way and a concrete median barrier were assumed on this alignment. McCormick Road will be improved to a four lane divided facility northward from the point where Line 7 ties into it.

  • Line 8: New Alignment. Beginning at SR 26, near Newman Road, Line 8 heads northwesterly along the centerline of SR 26, upgrading SR 26 from a two lane facility to a four lane divided facility with a concrete median barrier. Line 8 will also upgrade the existing railroad crossing. Line 8 continues along existing SR 26 for approximately 2 miles, intersecting and/or crossing CR 250W, CR 300W, CR 325W, CR 400W, CR 200N and CR 475W. Line 8 improves the radius of one existing horizontal curve before turning north and crossing CR 200N (Lindberg Road) and CR 250N. Line 8 then turns northeast, crosses the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad and terminates at US 52. The total length of Line 8 is 20,407 linear feet (approximately 3.9 miles). A 300-foot right-of-way and depressed grass median were assumed on this alignment.

All alternatives considered will be evaluated during the Alternative Analysis Screening process to determine which alternatives will be carried forward for detailed study in the Environmental Document (See Figures 1 and 2).


4.0 PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT PROGRAM

The purpose of the Public Involvement Plan is to encourage and facilitate public participation in the US 231 Relocation Study in order to aid the process of selecting the best alternative to meet the surrounding community's needs. Specific objectives include:

  • Providing timely information to the public about the study process and project alternatives.
  • Soliciting input from citizens on the resources of concern, impacts of alternatives, and preferences with regard to alternatives.
  • Involving environmental justice communities in the transportation decision-making process.
  • Developing an understanding of local issues that will enable the environmental document to best provide the information needed for decision-making while also fulfilling NEPA requirements.

A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will be assembled for this project to assist in the 'Community Impact Assessment & Mitigation' portion of the US 231 Relocation Study.

  • The committee will meet on a bi-monthly basis to solicit information back to their respective communities.
  • One member from this committee will participate in the Public Hearing to answer questions concerning the Community Impact Assessment Report.

The committee will be composed of the following members:

  • City-elected representatives
  • County-elected representative
  • City Administrators
  • Parks & Recreation representative
  • Neighborhood Leaders (up to 6)
  • Purdue University representative
  • Others as deemed appropriate

The Public Involvement Kick-off meeting will take place on Thursday, January 17, 2002 at Purdue University, Stewart Center, Room 206, from 5 - 8 p.m. The public involvement process will continue throughout the life of the project. Information will be provided on the project web-site www.relocate231.com, in newsletters and through other media.

5.0 CONCLUSION

The information provided in this packet is preliminary in nature and intended to provide a framework for the study. Public involvement is essential in ensuring the success of this project. Therefore, your comments, as well as opportunities to discuss the project and available information are encouraged.

Thank you for your interest in the US 231 Relocation Study,

Wendy L. Vachet, Project Manager
Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
701 E. 83rd Avenue
Merrillville, IN 46410

wvachet@mbakercorp.com
219-755-0233 (fax)


Handout Figures:
Preliminary Alignments to be Considered* (see note below)
Project Overview

*Note: Since the January 17, 2002 public kickoff meeting, two new alignments have been added (lines 9 and 10). Click here to see the new map.


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© 2002 INDOT & Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
Des. No. 9802890