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As with any major project that receives federal funding, the Milton-Madison Bridge Project must comply with certain regulations. The National Environmental Policy Act (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.
The Needs and Deficiencies Report documents the existing conditions in the study area.
In 2009, a Fracture Critical Inspection (a visual inspection of key bridge members) was undertaken as part of KYTC’s routine bridge maintenance activities. The report is the most recent survey of the bridge’s condition.
An investigation undertaken in early 2009 evaluated the condition of the existing river piers to determine the remaining service life. The results of this analysis are detailed in the Pier Investigation Report, including a hands-on field inspection to document the existing conditions in the field, along with the use of nondestructive testing techniques and the extraction of concrete samples for laboratory testing. Results of the field investigation revealed the presence of delaminated areas, cracking and spalling in different portions of the pier faces. An area on pier 5 (the river pier nearest the Indiana shore) contains eroded concrete with an exposed section of corroding rebar. Aside from areas experiencing cracking along liftlines, the concrete was found to be of good quality with an estimated 80-year service life remaining.
A foundation analysis was undertaken to ensure the existing piers could handle the increased weight of a wider superstructure. The results of this analysis are summarized in the Foundation Analysis Technical Memo. The results showed that the existing river piers will require some strengthening and mitigation to withstand potential wind and barge impact loads.
The Purpose and Need Statement establishes what the project should accomplish and was developed through a rigorous process to get the broadest possible input. The project process was developed so that the Purpose and Need would be developed collaboratively with input from Section 6002 Agencies, Project Advisory Group (PAG) members and the public.
The Environmental Overview Report outlines readily accessible data gathered from agency databases and windshield surveys used to help screen the initial alternatives. This level of analysis is intended to cover a large study area and identify any “red flags” that would make an alternative unreasonable. Fact Sheets summarize key points of the data collected.
Environmental Fact Sheets
The Socioeconomic Baseline Report describes impacts to the human environment that would result from the Do Nothing Alternative or the Proposed Action. This document looks at impacts to land use, community resources, homes and businesses, farmlands, environmental justice communities, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and the visual environment. This information was included in the NEPA document for the project.
The Initial Location Alternatives Screening Report contains a description of the alternatives considered and the results of the level-one evaluation, recommending four alternatives for additional study.
The Alternatives Selection Report describes the alternatives recommended for detailed study. Over the summer and fall of 2009, the alternatives recommended for additional study were developed in detail and evaluated against their potential impacts. This report describes the impacts each alternative would have on the human and natural environment and recommends one alternative as the Preferred Alternative.
The project’s Environmental Assessment (EA) reflects all the work that has gone into the project over the past two years. It recommends a course of action for the project and describes the social, economic and environmental impacts. Agencies and the public were given opportunities to comment on the EA in January 2010. Because the project will not result in any significant effects on the environment or communities, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was prepared. This document formally concludes the NEPA process.
Finding of No Significant Impact (Reevaluation) NEW
The 800.11e Report for the project summarizes the findings of the entire Section 106 process. It includes descriptions of the Proposed Action, efforts to identify historic properties, effects on historic properties and future actions to minimize adverse effects. The document also includes a description of input received from Section 106 consulting parties and members of the public regarding historic resources. The Proposed Action results in an adverse effect on the existing US 421 Bridge and could result in a negative economic impact during the estimated 12-month bridge closure. The Proposed Action will result in an adverse effect on the US 421 Bridge, as recorded in the FWHA Transmittal Letter.
The Final Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is a legal document that lists mitigations that will help offset any adverse effects on historic resources. Section 106 consulting parties worked with the project team to refine these measures.