Vital to a project’s success is working with a partner experienced in navigating the regulatory framework—including identifying preliminary design activities allowable under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) during the planning phase. For more than half a century, Gannett Fleming has been helping private and government clients across the U.S. deliver successful, regulatory compliant projects while maintaining business operations.

From implementing sustainable infrastructure and development solutions for existing infrastructure to leading design projects with multiple owners, including those within multiple jurisdictions, our talented experts are eager to share their perspectives and experiences with you, our valued clients and colleagues at the NAEP 2022 Annual Conference and Training Symposium. Together, let’s work together toward more equitable, resilient solutions for a better environment.

Not attending the conference? You can still earn up to four PDHs, ENV SP credits, and CCM renewal points, as well as one AIA learning unit, by participating in our FREE, hour-long webcasts on timely environmental and planning topics.

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Fostering Understanding when Project Owners are in Two Different Countries

May 17, 2022 • 4 p.m.
Bill Plumpton portrait.
Bill Plumpton, ENV SP, CEP
Senior Vice President

Developing a new or replacing an existing international border crossing between the U.S. and Canada, including ports of entry (i.e., border stations) in both countries, is a unique and potentially complex undertaking for project owners. In Canada, the project owners with responsibility for the undertaking and most frequently involved are the Provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, Transport Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Canada Revenue Agency, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

In the U.S., the project owners with responsibility for the undertaking and most frequently involved are the state Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. General Services Administration, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

While the provincial and state departments of transportation engage each other frequently over shared border issues, developing a new or replacing an existing international crossing between the U.S. and Canada is not a common occurrence. Consequently, these agencies generally do not know each other’s project development processes and requirements for environmental compliance.

This presentation will discuss the tools and techniques that have been used with success to deliver new and replacement international border crossings between the two countries.

FDOT’s Miami River – Miami Intermodal Center Capacity Improvement (MR-MICCI)

May 17, 2022 • 4 p.m.
Courtney Arena portrait.
Courtney Arena
Principal Environmental Scientist

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District Four, in partnership with the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), is in the design and permitting phase of the Miami River-Miami Intermodal Center Capacity Improvement (MR-MICCI) project. This project serves a 72-mile corridor for the Tri-Rail system that has 18 stations and an average daily ridership of 15,000 through Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. The MR-MICCI project will complete the double-tracking of the remaining 1.25 miles of this rail corridor to the southern terminus at the Miami Intermodal Center, which connects to local transportation services including Metrorail and the Miami International Airport.

To accommodate the double-tracking, the project will replace an existing historic bascule bridge over the Miami River (C-6) Canal with new twin, single-track, fixed bridges. Also, necessary improvements and upgrades are needed for the historic Hialeah Market Tri-Rail Station. The Miami River is a tidally influenced, navigable waterway under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the South Florida Water Management District. In December 2020, the U.S. Congress approved the deauthorization of the federal navigation rights for this portion of the Miami River.

This presentation is a case study on interagency coordination. It addresses the project’s challenges and solutions and focuses on the project approach–from the planning and NEPA phases with the Florida Transportation Authority as the lead federal agency.

Balancing Public and Private Interests: NCDOT Case Study, I-26 Corridor

May 19, 2022 • 8 a.m.
Adam Archual portrait.
Adam Archual
Senior Environmental Planner
Architectural Historian

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) proposes to construct a new interchange along I-26, approximately 6 miles south of Asheville. The interchange will connect to a roadway currently under construction by a private developer that will be accepted into the state system upon completion. Federal funding is anticipated, and FHWA and NCDOT expect documentation to be a NEPA Type III Categorical Exclusion (CE) in Spring 2022.

This project is uniquely situated between two active construction projects: NCDOT’s I-26 widening project to the east and Project Ranger, a multicomponent private development. Project Ranger occurs on a large tract of undeveloped land west of I-26 that is bisected by the Blue Ridge Parkway corridor and bound by the environmentally sensitive French Broad River on the north, west, and south. Active USACE permits govern both construction projects and each permit consists of separate United States Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinions.

In addition to the overlapping, active permits and known protected species issues (Gray Bat, Northern Long-eared Bat, and Appalachian Elktoe), other challenges include proximity to historic properties, an economic development element, and an aggressive delivery schedule for construction. For these reasons, this project was placed in NCDOT’s Section 404/NEPA Merger Process.

This presentation will utilize a case study to describe the structure and goals of NCDOT’s Merger Process and its application to this unique project. Successes and challenges encountered on this project will be detailed, including indirect and cumulative analyses, NEPA class of action, Section 7 consultation, and Section 106 consultation. Though currently in progress, the final NEPA document should be completed by May 2022, along with the resolution of environmental issues.

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