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Welcome Welcome! Please sign in. Your participation is important! Thank you for taking the time to get involved!

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome Welcome! Please sign in. Your participation is important! Thank you for taking the time to get involved!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome Welcome! Please sign in. Your participation is important! Thank you for taking the time to get involved!

2 MODOT is studying transportation issues along 257 miles of I-44 between the Missouri/Oklahoma state line and the St. Louis/Franklin county line. The issues cover a wide range of factors such as traffic operations, safety, highway design elements and system condition. The purpose of tonight’s meeting is to present information related to the issues and obtain input from you, the I-44 users, to help us better understand the needs and uses of the corridor. Please review the exhibits and share your thoughts, information and questions with the study team. Why We Are Here

3 There are six stations at tonight’s meeting with information that will help you understand the purpose and process of this study. Please take the time to visit all six stations. At Stations 5 & 6 we would like your input on issues that concern you about I-44. You can mark up project maps at Station 5 with information we should know, and provide written or oral comments, or both, at Station 6. What you will find at each station: Station 1: Background Station 2: Engineering Data Issues Station 3: Environmental Resources Station 4: Working Maps Station 5: Public Comment Forms Station 6: What’s Next? Summary of Stations

4 1 This station includes background information about I-44, the study purpose and scope, explains the NEPA process, and defines a Purpose and Need Statement. Project Purpose: To seek the most effective approach to improving the I-44 transportation corridor in Missouri. This Purpose and Need Study will: Identify Transportation Problems Establish Evaluation Criteria Determine Modal Strategies Establish Logical Termini Present Environmental, Planning, Engineering and Traffic Data which affects all of the above. We encourage you to stay involved. Station 1: Project Background

5 I-44 in Missouri was originally designed and constructed from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s. It plays a key role in serving the state’s commercial and recreational traffic. In addition, I-44 is part of the I-44/I-40 corridor that extends from California to Missouri. Existing traffic volumes on I-44 vary from 19,000 vehicles per day to nearly 72,000 vehicles per day, and travel along the interstate is expected to increase significantly in the future. Given the critical importance of I-44 to the state’s economy, the age of the facility, increasing traffic volumes and rapid growth along portions of the study corridor, MoDOT and its planning partners determined it was time to begin the first step in assessing the extent of the deficiencies and needs along the corridor. I-44 Background

6 The purpose of this I-44 study is to develop a comprehensive list of transportation issues along the I-44 study corridor, translate those issues into a purpose and need statement and identify sections of I-44, known as sections of independent utility, that would make appropriate stand-alone improvement projects in the future. Key study activities include the following: Data Gathering Community Involvement Land Use Forums Agency Coordination Purpose and Need Statement Study Purpose & Scope

7 The NEPA process requires that transportation decisions balance such important factors as engineering and transportation needs with social, economic and natural environmental factors. During the process, a wide range of partners, including the public, businesses, interest groups and government agencies provide input into project and environmental decisions. What is NEPA ? National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

8 NEPA requires a “purpose and need statement” for proposed actions. The purpose statement identifies the objectives to be achieved. The needs statement identifies the problem that does, or will, exist. The Purpose and Need Statement is not intended to propose a particular solution. It is used to: Define the issue(s) and clarify the desired outcome. Guide the development of a reasonable range of alternatives. Develop criteria to measure the alternative solutions. Justify alternatives moved forward during the screening process. This statement would serve as the starting point for detailed analyses in the future. What is a Purpose and Need Statement?

9 2 The exhibits at this station describe the engineering data the study team has collected along I-44 and the issues that have been identified. As noted, the issues described at this station will be included in the project’s Purpose and Need Statement. This station includes detailed analyses of the following: Crash Data Traffic Data Roadway Geometrics Station 2: Engineering Data

10 Level of Service Free flow; low volumes and high speeds; most drivers can select their own speed A Stable flow; speeds somewhat restricted by traffic; standard LOS used for rural highway design throughout the U.S B Stable flow; speed controlled by traffic; standard LOS used for urban highway design throughout the U.S. C Approaching unstable flow; lower speeds D Unstable flow; low, varied speeds; volumes at or near capacity E Forced flow; low speeds to stoppages; volume exceeds capacity F Level of Service (LOS) is a measure of how effectively a highway can move the volume of traffic it carries. Ranging from LOS A (free-flow conditions) to LOS F (gridlock), the measure takes into account the driver’s speed, freedom to maneuver and proximity to other vehicles. See photographs and descriptions to the right. Of course a highway facility operates at different levels of service at different times of the day. Traffic operations during peak periods like morning and evening rush hour are much different than the middle of the night, for example. As engineers plan for I-44 improvements, they must determine the number of lanes and basic design needed to reach a minimum level of service during peak periods in the future. This ensures that traffic operations will be acceptable during the busiest times, but also means traffic will not operate perfectly all the time. Consider the design of a parking lot at a shopping mall. A properly designed lot would be very congested the morning after Thanksgiving, but traffic would move and spaces would be available – similar to LOS D. On average mornings, there would be very little traffic and spaces would be readily available – similar to LOS A. To design this parking lot for no congestion and ample parking spaces the day after Thanksgiving would not be a wise use of resources and would result in substantial impacts to the surrounding area. The same concept can be applied in planning and designing roadways. Consistent with standards used throughout the country, the minimum LOS being used for I-44 during peak periods in the future is C in the rural areas, and D in urban areas. That means during the busiest times, traffic will move well, and at other times it will operate better. LOS Information Source: Highway Capacity Manual 2000, Transportation Research Board.

11 3 The exhibits at this station describe the environmental data that the study team has been collecting along I-44. Because of the large study area, most data comes from searches of various statewide databases. More detailed field studies will be conducted in future phases of the project. The location of sensitive resources will be considered by MoDOT in a future project phase when I-44 alternatives are developed. Local residents are very valuable sources for identifying important resources. Please let us know of any resources that the study team should consider. Station 3: Environmental Data

12 4 The most important activity tonight occurs at this station. Tell us about your community’s needs, issues and opportunities! Steps for this station: 1. Identify the area on the map where you would like to make a comment. 2. Tell a study team member or write any additional engineering or environmental issues in this area on the map. Station 4: Tell us what we need to know! MoDOT’s proactive efforts in soliciting stakeholder input on issues affecting I-44 in conjunction with the establishment of the project’s Purpose & Need are consistent with the requirements of Section 6002 of SAFETEA-LU relating to stakeholder and agency input at key steps during the NEPA process.

13 5 Your input is a key factor in this study. Your comments, ideas, and thoughts are valued. At this station, please take a moment to record your thoughts to ensure that the study team understands your concerns. Also at this station, find out how you can stay involved and where to find more information about the study. We want your comments: Written comment form (drop-off tonight or mail-in) Station 5: Your comments are important! MoDOT’s proactive efforts in soliciting stakeholder input on issues affecting I-44 in conjunction with the establishment of the project’s Purpose & Need are consistent with the requirements of Section 6002 of SAFETEA-LU relating to stakeholder and agency input at key steps during the NEPA process.

14 Visit Our Web Site E-mail Us Sign Up for the Newsletter Please include your name, email, address, and zip code on the sign-in sheet. Write Us I-44 Planning for Progress Attn: Charles Pursley, MoDOT Project Manager 105 W. Capitol Avenue P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270 Call Us 1-888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636) How to Stay Involved

15 6 Station 6: By first identifying the nature of the transportation issues that face I-44, we can then… ….move on to the development and evaluation of alternatives that can solve the identified issues. Eventually… …the solution that best solves the transportation issues and minimizes impacts will emerge. This Study Future Efforts What’s Next for I-44?

16 Following these public information meetings, the study team will continue to develop the Purpose and Need Statement, taking into account the input we’ve received tonight. Among the key results of the completed Purpose and Need Statement will be: The identification of the transportation problems that affect I-44. These problems will drive the establishment of alternatives that will be investigated in the future. The establishment of Sections of Independent Utility (SIUs) – sections of I-44 that are logical to study as standalone projects. What’s Next for this Purpose and Need Study? What’s Next for this Purpose and Need Study?

17 Environmental Process Next in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process We are here Scoping Purpose & Need Due Early 2008 Evaluation Criteria Alternative Screening Alternative Development 1 2 3 4 5 Formal Public Comment on DEIS Record of Decision (ROD) Formal Public Comment on FEIS 6 7 8 9 10 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)

18 After appropriate improvements (preferred alternatives) are identified, construction and funding need to be resolved. Preliminary estimates suggest that improvements to I-44 could cost billions of dollars. Among the funding mechanisms under consideration are: Prioritization – to allow construction to occur as needed. Design-Build – a technique to fast-track the design/ construction process. Legislative Actions – among the ideas currently being discussed in the Missouri General Assembly are truck-only lanes on I-44 and I-70 with a combination of funding strategies. Construction and Funding

19 Schedule

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