What was underway when the study was stopped?
Reports that had been completed included a Realignment Study Feasibility Report, Corridor Development Report, Alternatives Selection Report, and Traffic Study Report. A Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was underway when the study was stopped. The Tier 1 Draft EIS would have assessed broad, corridor-wide impacts for identifying a preferred corridor. More detailed Tier 2 environmental studies to examine potential impacts of site-specific alignments were anticipated once funding to implement, operate, and maintain the proposed project were committed. When the project is re-initiated, environmental data would be updated and the analysis would be completed.
Why has the study been cancelled?
ADOT determined that completing the Tier 1 EIS level of analysis to support a Record of Decision would exceed the funding currently allocated for the study. This decision considered the nature of the public and agency scoping comments and identification of emerging environmental resource concerns.
What is being done to close out the study that was underway?
ADOT has prepared a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Questionnaire and Checklist. The PEL checklist documents the status of the environmental studies, the agency and public coordination that has taken place, and the issues and concerns that have been identified. Completed reports as well as documents in development have been archived to facilitate the restarting of the study when funding is available. The PEL will facilitate re-initiation of the National Environmental Policy Act process when funding is available.