There are many steps that MTA must go through before the Purple Line becomes a reality. These steps ensure that:
Transportation, community and environmental impacts from the Purple Line project are assessed.
These impacts are avoided, minimized or mitigated to the extent possible.
Public participation and community input help guide the decision-making process.
The Purple Line Project follows the Federal Planning Process that include the following steps:
1. Public Scoping
In September 2003 MTA held a series of meetings inviting the public, government agencies and any interested parties to provide input on potential transportation, social, economic, and natural environmental issues. This input was used to further define the problem and identify the need for the project, settle on the initial range of alternatives to be considered, and identify potential issues related to the proposed alternatives that would need to be addressed in the environmental document.
2. Alternative Analysis/Draft Environmental Impact Statement
The next step was analyzing and identifying the alternatives to retain for detailed study. This began the formal alternatives analysis and environmental process. The results of this step are documented in a "Definition of Alternatives" report.
Bus and rail alternatives and alignment options that had been retained for detailed study were fully evaluated and better defined so that their environmental effects, community impacts, transportation benefits, and costs could be accurately assessed. The end product of these activities was the Alternatives Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (AA/DEIS) document, which was made available for review on October 17, 2008 and then discussed at formal public hearings held in November 2008.
During the Preliminary Engineering (PE) phase of the project the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) will be prepared. The FEIS will include detailed development of more specific environmental and engineering information for the LPA including:
Detailed environmental mitigation and engineering plans
Station locations and design
Access and operating strategies
Maintenance of traffic during construction
Phasing of construction
Detailed financial plans including funding commitments
The MTA will also continue to address and mitigate concerns and issues raised by communities and citizens throughout the study process.
4. Record of Decision
A "Record of Decision" (ROD) will be sought from the Federal Transit Administration at the completion of the PE/FEIS process. The ROD formally transitions a project from the planning and environmental process into design and construction.
5. Final Design
Final Design is the last phase of project development. This is where final construction plans, detailed specifications, construction cost estimates and bid documents are prepared.
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