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Benning Road and Bridges Transportation Improvements Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Benning Road and Bridges Transportation Improvements Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and in cooperation with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), and National Park Service (NPS), has released the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Benning Road and Bridges Transportation Improvements project (proposed action).  The proposed action involves the reconstruction of the Benning Road and Bridges in northeast Washington, DC.  The proposed action will improve transportation infrastructure conditions, enhance safety and operations along the corridor and at key intersections, enhance and install pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and extend streetcar transit service.  The Draft EA was released for public comment on May 4, 2016 and a public hearing was held on May 19, 2016.

The Final EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and in compliance with all applicable environmental laws and executive orders.  The Final EA addresses comments received from the public, Federal and local agencies, and stakeholders on the Draft EA.  After thorough review and consideration of all comments received, a Preferred Alternative (PA) has been identified in the Final EA and FHWA’s decision document, the FONSI.  The selection of the PA was based on the lesser impacts associated with Build Alternative 2, the Median Running Streetcar Alternative, that is less impactful on: real property; traffic operations; community; and other resources, compared to the Curbside Alternative.  In addition, the PA best meets the purpose and need of the project. The PA would provide for a wired, 11-foot to 12-foot median shared streetcar lane for the length of the Benning Road corridor and new pedestrian, bicycle, and safety improvements on the Benning Road bridges.

The release of the Final EA and FONSI completes the NEPA process for this project.  In order to reduce the risk for COVID-19 (as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and Mayor Bowser’s current Coronavirus 2019 Phase Two Guidance, a complete digital copy of the Final EA and FONSI; including all technical appendices are available on the project website for downloading:  www.benningproject.com.  The document will consist of several files for the ease of downloading.  For further information about the project, please contact the project team at [email protected].

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