The County Council has been hearing a lot of comments on the proposed Fullerton Pike road project in the last couple of days. I wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow (January 9, 2015) is the deadline for public comment.
The full Environmental Assessment and project description of the project can be found here:
Mailed to Benjamin Harvey at American Structurepoint, Inc., 7260 Shadeland Station, Indianapolis, IN 46256
Faxed to 317-543-0270 [editorial comment: seriously, fax?]
After the public comment period is closed, the County (and the project consultants) will provide a written response to each comment (comments that are substantially similar may be combined) for the record. The Federal Highway Administration will then either approve a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or not, in which case a much more extensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would need to be prepared.
Last week I wrote about an upcoming public hearing for Monroe County’s Fullerton Pike Project scheduled for December 11, 2014 at 6PM at the Nat U Hill Room of the Monroe County Courthouse. The public hearing will give members of the public an opportunity to learn more about the project, get their questions answered, and make their voices heard.
The Monroe County Highway Department has just made the draft version of the Environmental Assessment for the project available on its Web site here:
An Environmental Assessment is a requirement of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and is document whose purpose is to examine the significance of environmental effects and to look at alternative means to achieve the objectives of a particular governmental agency or project.
The Environmental Assessment is divided into 7 sections, all of which are fairly large PDF files. The most important to read is the first one, which provides an extensive description of the project and all alternatives that were considered.
Incidentally, i have heard from many constituents who think that the whole public input process is a sham — that citizen input doesn’t matter. I will say that nothing is further from the truth. Citizen input has already had a substantial effect on this project. When the project was first proposed, it was proposed as a 5-lane road. Input from residents resulted in the project being reduced from a 5-lane road to a 3-lane road (1 travel lane in each direction plus turn lanes as needed). This was a huge change in the scope of the project — all because of the input from citizens.