The project was reinitiated by DelDOT and a DEIS was published in summer of 2013. As a result of public comments, DelDOT modified the DEIS Preferred Alternative and was advised to prepare a Supplemental EIS document (SDEIS). In April 2016, the Division updated PAPAI to confirm the project remains active as a SDEIS. The following is a chronology of key activities related to the SDEIS up to current end of year 2016 NEPA status of the project: The DEIS was published in July 2013 and Public Hearings held in September 2013 at which time the project was suspended by the Governor later lifted as a result of political intervention including the DelDOT Secretary of Transportation. Based on discussions between the Division and FHWA HQ, DelDOT initiated preparation of a SDEIS during 2015 in response to public comments received on the 2013 DEIS, September 2013 Public Hearing and a new February 2015 Public Workshop where DelDOT presented a modified version of two DEIS alternatives which was favorably by the public and subsequent meeting with state and federal resource agencies. The SDEIS Preferred Alternative (Modified Yellow) was developed in 2016 in response to public opposition comments mainly related to DEIS Preferred Alternative (Blue Alternative). Based on updated 2014 traffic analysis, the SDEIS Preferred Alternative modified a DEIS P & N by changing DEIS Preferred Alternative from access control to limited access along US 113; limited the length of proposed US 113 upgrade to south of Millsboro instead of the MD state line and modified the DEIS proposed SR 24 realignment from 4 lanes to two lanes which collectively substantially reduced the SDEIS Preferred Alternative impacts and costs compared with the DEIS Preferred Alternative costs. In 2016, DelDOT submitted two versions of draft SDEIS for Division review. Most recent is the attached comments submitted to DelDOT last week with link of prior FHWA and DelDOT comments. The project was delayed in mid-2016 when a determination of significance of Millsboro Pond could not be reached despite meetings between DelDOT, FHWA and the Millsboro Mayor and Town Manager after they met with Town Council. To advance project NEPA and based on consultations between the Division and its FHWA NEPA HQ contact, it was decided to explain this in the SDEIS and circulate the document for an additional round of public review and comment for FHWA to make the 4(f) determinations including a likely 4(f) de minimis finding per 23 CFR 774 requirements. The Division approved the SDEIS document on December 9, 2016 with an anticipated early 2017 Public Hearing and announced February 13, 2017 close of comment for the SDEIS.
All dates below are specific to the schedule of the Environmental Review and Permitting processes for this project.
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