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ARRA is commonly referred to as the Stimulus or Recovery Act. It is an economic stimulus package passed by Congress in February 2009. The stimulus was intended to create new jobs and spur economic activity during the recession.
An Environmental Assessment is a NEPA document prepared to help determine the significance of the project’s impact on the human and natural environments. The EA recommends a course of action for the project, describing its social, economic and environmental impacts.
FONSI is an official NEPA document which attests that the project will not significantly impact the environment and should be allowed to advance. Such documentation is required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970.
Once mitigation measures are decided by project leaders, a document called a “Memorandum of Agreement,” or MOA, is drafted which stipulates the particulars of mitigation. The MOA represent a legally binding commitment to implement the mitigation included in the MOA.
Mitigation is the process where project leaders make up for adverse effects the project might have on historic properties and the environment. There is not a set amount or percentage of funding designated for mitigation measures for projects. This is determined on a project-by-project basis.
NEPA, signed into law in 1970, requires that impacts on the human and natural environments be publicly documented and considered in the decision-making process for major federal projects. NEPA applies to projects that receive federal funding.
The PAG is a group representative of project stakeholders in and around Madison, Ind., and Milton, Ky. Stakeholders are defined as any individual or group with an interest in the project, such as property owners, business owners or neighborhood associations. The PAG meets to discuss project issues and provide a variety of local perspectives which help INDOT and KYTC make informed decisions.
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires the Federal Highway Administration and other federal agencies to take into account the effects that their federally funded projects and programs have on historic properties that are included in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is a list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology and culture.
The purpose of Section 106 is to balance historic preservation concerns with the needs of federal undertakings. This review process ensures that federal agencies identify any potential conflicts between their undertakings and historic preservation and resolve any conflicts in the public interest. Section 106 does not require the preservation of historic resources, but it does require that their historic values be considered in weighing the benefits and costs of federal projects.
Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 declares a national policy “to preserve the natural beauty of the countryside and public park and recreation lands, wildlife and waterfowl refuges and historic sites.”
Superstructure replacement involves removing the existing steel superstructure and replacing it with a new wider truss superstructure, which will look similar to the existing bridge. Superstructure replacement calls for widening the road deck and reusing the existing piers which will be brought up to modern standards.