DES CSI: Aiding NEPA Decisions Karen Mynhier KYTC District 9 Phil Logsdon Lochner Mitch Green - HMB DES CSI: Aiding NEPA Decisions Why doesnt your DES match
your CE? Im going to kill those Engineers! Were working on it 2017 Audit of CEs Identified Purpose Problems With: and Need Documentation
of Comments and Coordination Identifying Commitments & Mitigation Specific documentation for each subject matter Missing signatures 2017 Audit - Alternatives Analysis in the DES Its
an Analysis, not just a description All Alternatives mentioned in CE and/or Design Executive Summary (DES) need to be discussed Reasons for elimination need to be identified Reasons for selection must be clearly indicated Provide exhibits if carried beyond conceptual stage Highway Design
Guidance Manual (2017) Section 203.6: The DES Record of engineering decisions related to the project No distinction between state-funded vs. federallyfunded Contains rationale concerning the identification of the preferred alternative and requested design exceptions
Used by the Division of Highway Design to determine if design exceptions can be approved Guidance Manual (continued) DES is used by Division of Environmental Analysis to determine environmental actions that may be required. DES should fully document the rationale and all pertinent information used when making design decisions
Should be submitted after the PL&G DES Summary Form (Exhibit 200-09) DES Attachments Typical Section (including bridge typical sections) Project location map Project overview and existing conditions
Purpose and need statement Description and range of alternatives with respective traffic control schemes, and environmental, utility, and right of way impacts DES Attachments (continued) Discuss Design Exceptions, Variances & Mitigation Strategies
Cost comparison table of alternatives vs. Highway Plan (R, U, and C) Reason for cost overrun (>15% or more) Choice of preferred alternative and reasons for its selection Discussion of clearzone Consideration of bicycle and pedestrian facilities
Water-related impacts summary (Exhibit 200-08 in Design Manual) DES Approval Process Tiered approach Tier 1 signed by Location Engineer Tier Tier 3 Signed by Director of the Division of Highway Design
Ideally, the DES approved prior to NEPA document approval Alternatives in the DES, should also be discussed in the NEPA document DE S 2 signed by Roadside Design Branch Manager Example Project State Funded Recommended Alternative was identified prior to applying federal funds essentially widening along the existing route
Example Alternatives Analysis Six Build Alternatives Variations of widening about centerline, to the left and right Variations on Median vs. TWLTL Matrix compared construction costs, ROW impacts, and utilities affected by each alternative Did not consider environmental resource impacts Example - No Build Alternative This alternative would maintain the present roadway system with no improvements to KYXX. All of the current problems
associated with this section of roadway, such as capacity deficiencies and the need to address safety would remain and be further strained with any future increase in average daily traffic as well as any future development. This option does not meet the purpose and need for the project. Example Recommended Alternative After holding a Preliminary Line and Grade Meeting, the design team recommended moving forward with a combination of Alternates 1A and 2A. This option best meets the purpose and need of the project by addressing the current and projected needs of the facility while providing a quality product to the driving public.
No support for how or why it best meets P&N Example - Comments from CE Review Did all the alternatives receive the same amount of consideration? Were there some that were eliminated much earlier? Document
the reasons for Alternatives being eliminated Example - Alternatives Eliminated Further discussion w/ Project team identified ROW impacts as being key to eliminating several alternatives widening to the north or south (B and C Alternatives) would have much greater property impacts. For this reason, Alternatives 1B, 1C, 2B and 2C were eliminated from further consideration.
Example: Does Solution Improve Congestion? Travel Time Analysis from PL&G No comparison to baseline conditions - Existing and 2040 NoBuild Travel Times could not be found! The 2013 Traffic Analyst Was Consulted This data had to be recreated! 2013 Field Runs AM Peak Hour Travel Time
(seconds) This Data was then combined with the PL&G Travel Time Data PM Peak Hour Travel Time (seconds) Speed (MPH) Speed (MPH) Eastbound
475 43 518 39 Westbound 512 40 558 36 No Build Future Year 2040
AM Peak Hour Travel Time (seconds) PM Peak Hour Travel Time (seconds) Speed (MPH) Speed (MPH) Eastbound 1694 12
989 20.6 Westbound 1764 11.5 1150 17.7 Alternative 1A Future Year 2040 AM Peak Hour Travel Time (seconds)
891 23 740 28 Example - Selected Alternative The selected Alternative best meets the purpose and need of the project by providing the best congestion relief and addressing the current and projected needs of the facility. Success! CE Approved! KY 7 DES Reconstruction from Sandy Hook toward Wrigley Elliott and Morgan Counties, Item 9-228.00
Purpose - To improve the safety issues along KY 7 between Sandy Hook and Wrigley, such as geometric deficiencies, a nonstandard roadway template, inadequate clear zones, and the lack of proper sight distance at intersections and access points. A goal is to provide an improved system continuity and mobility between the communities of Grayson and West Liberty, in conjunction with other past and programmed projects. KY 7 DES A Design Executive Summary was prepared for the project and submitted after the Preliminary Line and Grade meeting. District 9 had several comments:
Make the purpose and need match the NEPA document Include mapping to show the alternatives Ensure that impact discussions match the NEPA document KY 7 DES The project team engaged the NEPA members to assist in editing the DES. Project discussions and the Purpose and Need
were coordinated, mapping from the NEPA document was added, and the team addressed all of the Districts comments. KY 7 DES NEPA staff provided exhibits that had been developed for the baseline studies and Categorical Exclusion for use in the DES. KY 7 DES Environmental documents and reports were used to provide project impact
detail for use in the DES, including stream and wetland impacts (used to complete the Water Related Impacts Summary portion of the DES). In lieu fee estimates were generated and included in the DES to assist in project cost planning. KY 7 DES The NEPA review of the DES identified a cost saving measure: All three alignments avoided what was believed to be a historic store
It had been determined that the store was not eligible for the National Register of Historic Places All three alternatives were revised to reduce earthwork in this location by 330,000 cubic yards Also able to avoid two relocations and potential cemetery impacts Resources & Best Practices The project can benefit from a thorough
review of the DES by NEPA team members Updated Design Manual Guidance AASHTO Practitioners Handbook Invite NEPA team members to assist with the development of the DES Use clear language and exhibits to document and explain the project decisions
Use the same language and exhibits in NEPA documentation Upcoming Purpose and Need Training Are We Good? You Totall y Rock! Thank You!
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