FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRA and DDOT Release Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation and Draft Section 106 Programmatic Agreement for the Long Bridge Project
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) published the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation and Draft Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (PA) for the Long Bridge Project. The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DPRT) is the named Project Sponsor for the future phases of the Long Bridge Project.
The DEIS identifies the project’s preferred alternative, which includes expanding the 1.8-mile Long Bridge Corridor from two to four tracks crossing the Potomac River from RO Interlocking (note that “RO” is the proper name of the interlocking – it is not an acronym) near Long Bridge Park in Arlington, Virginia to L’Enfant (LE) Interlocking near 10th Street SW in Washington, DC. With this alignment, a new two-track bridge would be constructed upstream of the existing bridge, and the existing bridge would be retained to create a four-track crossing. The Preferred Alternative ties into the DC to Richmond Southeast High Speed Rail (DC2RVA) Project’s four-track alignment at RO Interlocking and VRE’s proposed four-track expansion project at LE Interlocking. The proposed project includes a new bike-pedestrian shared use path that would bridge over the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Potomac River.
The project, which will cost an estimated $1.9 billion, will take approximately five years to construct. Once complete, the project will increase long-term railroad capacity and improve the reliability of railroad service through the Long Bridge Corridor, a critical link to the local, regional, and national transportation network. Following a public comment period, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation will manage the project’s construction.
Built in 1904, Long Bridge is the only railroad crossing over the Potomac River between the District and Virginia. The Long Bridge Corridor currently serves freight (CSX Transportation), intercity passenger (Amtrak), and commuter rail (Virginia Railway Express [VRE]).
The DEIS provides an in-depth analysis of the project’s potential impacts and benefits to environmental and cultural resources. It also provides a comparison of the alternatives considered. Publication of the DEIS is a milestone in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The DEIS is available on the Project website at: longbridgeproject.com/deis. It is also available at local libraries listed on the Project website: longbridgeproject.com.
Notice of Public Comment
Publication of the DEIS, Draft 4(f) Evaluation and PA initiates the public comment period which will last through October 28, 2019. After the close of the comment period, a Final EIS (FEIS), 4(f) Evaluation and PA that addresses comments and a Record of Decision (ROD) will be issued.
A U.S. Coast Guard preliminary public notice is anticipated that will seek comments from mariners about vessel operations and on the navigation clearances proposed for the project. Comments should be submitted to Office of Commander (dpb), Fifth Coast Guard District, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704-5004.
Public comments can also be provided by mail to Anna Chamberlin, AICP, Long Bridge Project, 55 M Street, SE, Suite 400, Washington, DC, 20003-3515; by email [email protected]; or, by using the online comment form available at: https://longbridgeproject.com/contact/.
The public hearing for the DEIS, Draft 4(f) Evaluation and PA will be held on October 22, 2019, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at 1100 4th Street SW in Room E200, Washington, DC 20024. Comments during the public hearing can be provided in writing, by speaking to the court reporter, or during the public comment session at the hearing. Anyone wishing to speak at the public hearing may sign up at the hearing. Verbal comments are limited to three minutes per person, and groups are requested to provide comments through one spokesperson.
To learn more about the project, please visit: longbridgeproject.com.
The mission of the District of Columbia government's Department of Transportation (DDOT) is to enhance the quality of life for District residents and visitors by ensuring that people, goods, and information move efficiently and safely with minimal adverse impact on residents and the environment.
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