Friday, March 14, 2008

New Federal Rules Posted for Protecting Parks, Recreation Areas, Wildlife and Waterfowl Refuges, and Historic Sites

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published new rules relating to protection of "Parks, Recreation Areas, Wildlife and Waterfowl Refuges, and Historic Sites" from avoidable effects of federal transportation projects. The 34-page final rule appeared in the March 12, 2008 issue of the Federal Register (pages 13368-13401). The Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road project is an FHWA project and these new federal rules will apply to that project. The eastern portion of McIntire Park, several historic homes, the Covenant School, and other properties in the area of the interchange project qualify for consideration under these rules.

Several key protection issues that have been part of the interchange project discussions are addressed directly in the new rule. I expect that this new information will be discussed in great detail among the RK&K Engineering consultants, the Section 106 Consulting Parties committee, the project steering committee, and the city, state, and federal officials involved in this project. In fact, there is a steering committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 19, 2008 at which this will surely be a topic of consideration. And, this meeting is open to the public with an opportunity for members of the public to provide comments.

If you are interested in parkland protection or historic preservation, I hope you will consider attending this upcoming meeting and getting involved in guiding this project to a conclusion best for the quality of life in our community and our local transportation future. I also invite you to look at the text of the rulemaking. There is some very interesting description of the purpose and background behind protecting these sensitive resources that I believe is well worth reading by all interested parties.

Here is the details from the steering committee meeting announcement:

Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road
VDOT Project No. 0250-104-103, PE-101
STP-5104 (156)

March 19, 2008
11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
(Old Visitor’s Center)
100 5th Street NE
Charlottesville, VA 22902

The City of Charlottesville announces a Steering Committee Meeting for the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road to be held March 19, 2008. The meeting will be a working meeting between the Steering Committee and the Project Team. Time will be designated during the course of the meeting for public comment.

For additional project information, visit

The above meeting location is accessible to persons having disabilities. Any person having special needs or requiring special aid, such as an interpreter for the hearing impaired, is requested to contact the City of Charlottesville one week in advance.

1 comment:

DaveNorris said...

Peter, thanks for your continued vigilance on this issue. From your reading of these new rules, have there been any changes made that might impact the direction/outlook for this project?