A Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is part of a two-tiered process, will be prepared by MDTA and led by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The two-tiered process provides a systematic approach for advancing potential transportation improvements. The regional analyses undertaken during Tier 1 will involve evaluation of approximately two-mile wide corridors using a broad-scale level of detail for engineering and environmental information. The Tier 1 EIS will result in selection of a corridor alternative that best meets the study purpose and need. Following the Tier 1 study, a Tier 2 study will identify specific alignment alternatives within the corridor alternative that is identified in Tier 1.
For more information on the NEPA process, please visit www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/nepa/nepa_projDev.aspx.
Purpose and Need Document – Now Available!
The MDTA, the Federal Highway Administration and the Bay Crossing Study cooperating agencies have concurred upon the Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study: Tier 1 NEPA Purpose and Need Document
The purpose of the Tier 1 NEPA Study is to consider corridors for providing additional capacity and access across the Chesapeake Bay in order to improve mobility, travel reliability and safety at the existing Bay Bridge. The Tier 1 NEPA Study is evaluating potential new corridor alternatives that will include assessment of existing and potentially expanded transportation infrastructure needed to support additional capacity, improve travel times, and accommodate maintenance activities, while considering financial viability and environmental responsibility.
The following three primary needs were identified for the Tier 1 NEPA Study and are the basis for evaluating corridor alternatives:
- Adequate Capacity;
- Dependable and Reliable Travel Times; and
- Flexibility to Support Maintenance and Incident Management in a Safe Manner.
Evaluation of any potential new corridor alternative will include an assessment of the transportation infrastructure needed, while also taking into account financial viability and environmental responsibility, accounting for potential adverse effects to the Bay and the important natural, recreational, socio‑economic and cultural resources it supports.