VDOT to screen 460 project rankings

Published 11:32 am Wednesday, November 23, 2016

At its October meeting, the Commonwealth Transportation Board voted unanimously to submit the Route 460 Project Southeast Virginia to be scored and ranked under Virginia’s data-driven prioritization process, SMART SCALE. The policy guidelines allow the CTB to submit up to two projects during each SMART SCALE cycle.

The VDOT evaluation teams will be working through December to screen, score and provide project rankings to the CTB in January 2017. The project scores will be made available to the public and the CTB will solicit public input on them through next spring.

Following the outcome of the SMART SCALE scoring process and the solicitation of public input and public hearings on the Draft Six Year Improvement Program, the CTB will determine the projects to be funded for construction and included in the Final SYIP.

The Final SYIP will be adopted in June 2017. This will mark the point at which a decision will be made regarding construction of the Route 460 Project. A Record of Decision from FHWA will also be required for the project to advance to construction.

Back in June 2016, the Virginia Department of Transportation, in collaboration with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Highway Administration, completed the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Route 460 Project in Southeast Virginia.

Comments received during the public comment period for the Draft SEIS are addressed in the Final SEIS. The Final SEIS provides a detailed description of the development of the FHWA/VDOT Preferred Alternative, which was first presented during VDOT’s May 2015 public meetings and incorporates a combination of alternatives evaluated in the Draft SEIS.

The Final SEIS was made available for a 30-day public review and comment period that concluded in July 2016.

The Final SEIS may be viewed at the following link: http://www.route460project.org/learn_more/seis_final_docs.asp

Concurrently with the development of the Final SEIS, a Joint Permit Application for the FHWA/VDOT Preferred Alternative was prepared and submitted to USACE, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission in November 2015.

Each agency issued an individual public notice and conducted separate comment periods to solicit input to inform their respective permitting decisions.

Following the close of the comment periods and consideration of all comments received, including those on the Final SEIS, USACE issued a permit in September. DEQ issued a permit in early October and VMRC approved the permit in November.