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Frequently Asked Questions
The intent of the Second Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is to build on and extend the work of the I-70 First Tier EIS for future I-70.
The Second Tier EIS analyzed a shorter section of I-70 in greater detail. Once this study completed, the best possible plan is in place to improve I-70 when funding is available for construction.
What is the purpose of this study?
The Second Tier EIS carrys forward and refined the needs identified from the I-70 First Tier EIS and conducts an alternatives analysis based on the Improve Key Bottlenecks Strategy. Through this study, more specific definitions of the improvements and their potential impacts were developed for consideration by the general public and the various resource agencies. Examples of these improvements include modifying access, fixing existing pavement and bridges, improving interchange ramps, adding collector distributor roads, and providing for bus transit on shoulder.
What is the study area?
The study area included all land within 200 feet of the I-70 First Tier EIS Selected Strategy (Improve Key Bottlenecks) defined footprint from west of the Paseo Boulevard interchange to east of the Blue Ridge Cutoff interchange in Jackson County, Missouri. The project length is approximately 6.8 miles. Download the study area map here.
What is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and why is it necessary?
An EIS examines and documents the environmental, social, and economic impacts of alternatives that have been proposed to address a specific need. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires an EIS for major actions that could significantly impact the natural and human environments. The EIS is also necessary to be eligible for federal funding.
How long will the Second Tier/EIS take to complete?
An EIS typically takes three years to complete. The Second Tier EIS was initiated in December 2011 and was complete 2014. There are several key components of the EIS that must be followed, including the development and analysis of alternatives that address the project’s Purpose and Need.
What is a tiered Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)?
The I-70 Second Tier EIS Cutoff is a result of a tired environmental documentation process. Tiering refers to addressing overall transportation corridor strategies and issues in a first tier analysis, and analyzing more specific proposals and impacts in subsequent second tier studies. The tiered process enables a decision-making process that focuses on issues that are ripe for decision and reduces repetition in environmental documentation.
One way to imagine the tiered process is as an umbrella. In the I-70 First Tier EIS, the umbrella extends approximately 18 miles from the Missouri-Kansas state line to just east of the I-470 interchange and includes the Kansas City, Missouri Downtown Central Business District Freeway Loop. An overall improvement strategy was approved for the corridor in April of 2011. The corridor umbrella covers and identifies future detailed second tier project level studies of shorter sections, which may take the form of an Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), Environmental Assessment (EA), or Categorical Exclusions (CE). The Second Tier EIS will analyze two sections of I-70 in greater detail. These sections encompass I-70 from west of the Paseo Boulevard interchange to east of the Blue Ridge Cutoff in greater detail.
Will construction begin soon?
There is currently no funding for design or construction, so a start date cannot be estimated. Only routine maintenance will occur in the foreseeable future.
The development of transportation improvements involves the following four phases – planning, environmental, design, and construction. The I-70 Second Tier EIS is the in the environmental phase. The remaining phases are contingent upon available funding. Anywhere from a few to many years could be needed to complete the entire process.
How can I learn more and get involved?
Public involvement is a critical component of the EIS process. There will be multiple opportunities to get involved and stay informed such as public meetings, community presentations, newsletters, email updates and the project’s website. Click here to share comments on this EIS.