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Soapstone Connector Public Information Meeting For Environmental Assessment


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Soapstone Connector Public Information Meeting For Environmental Assessment

June 15, 2016

Published in: News & Politics
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Soapstone Connector Public Information Meeting For Environmental Assessment

  1. 1. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Soapstone Connector Public Information Meeting For Environmental Assessment June 15, 2016 Presented by: Audra K. Bandy, P.E. Fairfax County Department of Transportation
  2. 2. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Overview  Current Conditions  Project History  Environmental Reviews  Improvement Options  Purpose and Need  Environmental Considerations  Schedule and Next Steps  Q&A
  3. 3. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Current Conditions  Major roadways in area include Wiehle Avenue, Sunset Hills Road and Sunrise Valley Drive.  Two crossings of Dulles Corridor on either side of Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station.  Vehicles traveling to and from Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station and entering and leaving the Dulles Corridor compete for same road space on Wiehle Avenue.
  4. 4. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Project History  2008 Wiehle Avenue/Reston Parkway Station Access Management Plans Final Report, April 2008 – Soapstone Connector was included in list of recommended roadway projects. – Initiated to consider current status and future needs in vicinity of the two proposed Metrorail stations in the area.  Soapstone Connector Feasibility Study, November 2013 – Assessed engineering feasibility of a multimodal roadway that would provide connection between Sunset Hills Road and Sunrise Valley Drive. – Identified and screened multiple alternative alignments. – Identified most promising alignment for Soapstone Connector.
  5. 5. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Environmental Reviews  National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires: – Consideration of potential environmental consequences of transportation improvements – Documentation of analyses – Making information available to the public for comment before final decision making and implementation
  7. 7. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Purpose and Need  The purpose of the project is to provide additional multimodal capacity on a new north‐south alternative to mitigate congestion on Wiehle Avenue.  The project will address: – Inability of Wiehle Avenue to accommodate current and forecasted traffic demand. – Delays on Wiehle Avenue at the intersections with Sunset Hills Road and Sunrise Valley Drive. – Lack of direct access for buses to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station without requiring travel on Wiehle Avenue. – Lack of connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station, from Soapstone Drive and Sunrise Valley Drive on the south and Sunset Hills Road on the north.
  8. 8. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Environmental Considerations  Some resources/issues to be studied include: – Land Use and Development – Impacts to Communities – Historic and Archaeological Resources – Parklands and Recreation Areas – Traffic and Safety – Wetlands – Topography/Landscape – Noise – Water Quality – Hazardous Materials – Cumulative Impacts – Indirect Impacts
  9. 9. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Historic Properties  Two historic districts – Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad Historic District – Wiehle/Sunset Hills Historic District  The W&OD Railroad Historic District is considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).  The Wiehle/Sunset Hills Historic District has not been evaluated for NRHP eligibility but is considered potentially eligible.  No adverse effects on the districts are anticipated, pending coordination and concurrence from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
  10. 10. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Archaeological Resources  Prior disturbance in the area is associated with previous transportation improvements including: – Dulles Toll Road and associated overpasses – Sunrise Valley Drive – Sunset Hills Road – Metrorail Silver Line  Past clearing and grading for construction of buildings and parking lots and installation of underground utilities also likely diminishes the potential for undisturbed land with the potential for intact archaeological deposits.  Fairfax County Park Authority and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources have concurred that no further archaeological survey is necessary.
  11. 11. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Floodplains and Wetlands  The project lies within the Difficult Run watershed and traverses one stream, Colvin Run.  According to the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) database, there are no wetlands within the project area.  There are no Federal Emergency Management Agency-mapped 100-year floodplains within 500 feet of the project.
  12. 12. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Air Quality and Noise  Assessment of potential impacts will be conducted consistent with VDOT and FHWA protocols and other applicable guidance.  Findings will be presented in the EA and in an Air Quality Analysis Technical Report.  Potential air quality impacts from construction activities also will be discussed in the report and EA.  A noise analysis will be conducted in accordance with federal regulations and consistent with VDOT and FHWA protocols.  The findings will be presented in the EA and in a Noise Analysis Technical Report.
  14. 14. SOAPSTONE CONNECTORSOAPSTONE CONNECTOR Next Steps  Study team review of public comments.  Evaluation of suggestions and concerns about conceptual alternatives.  Assessment of environmental impacts.  Preparation of Draft Environmental Assessment (EA).  Revision of EA, as appropriate, to reflect changes or new information resulting from comments received on the EA.  Submission of EA to FHWA, along with a copy of the public hearing transcript and a request that a decision be made by FHWA.  Receipt of decision document from FHWA.