SH 35 Public Meeting

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1 SH 35 Public Meeting Major Corridor Feasibility Study Environmental Impact Statement March 27 and 28, 2007 Good evening and welcome to the State Highway 35 Public Meeting. This meeting is being conducted by the Texas Department of Transportation in order to present and discuss the State Highway 35 Major Corridor Feasibility Study from Interstate Highway 45 in Houston to State Highway 288 in Angleton. We will also present and discuss the Environmental Impact Statement being prepared for State Highway 35 from Bellfort Road in Houston to FM 1462 in Alvin. 1

2 Purpose of the Public Meeting Provide an update on the SH 35 Major Corridor Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement Present the Revised Most Feasible Alternative Receive public input The purpose of this meeting is to provide an update on the progress of the State Highway 35 Major Corridor Feasibility Study and the on-going Environmental Impact Statement. We will present and discuss the Revised Most Feasible Alternative as determined by the feasibility study. We will also answer your questions and we encourage your input regarding the information presented at tonight s meeting. 2

3 Study Goals Improve Mobility Provide Multi-Modal Transportation System Improve Transportation Infrastructure Preserve/Enhance Social, Community and Economic Viability Protect the Natural Environment Improve Safety The Major Corridor Feasibility Study, conducted by URS, focuses on the State Highway 35 corridor from Interstate Highway 45 in Houston to State Highway 288 in Angleton. The Study Area is shaded in gray on the map. There are six goals of the study: Improve mobility; Provide for a multi-modal transportation system; Improve the transportation infrastructure; Preserve and where possible enhance social, community and economic viability; Protect the natural environment; and, Improve safety along the State Highway 35 corridor. 3

4 Study Process Determine Universe of Alternatives - complete Screening Analyses Fatal Flaw complete Qualitative complete Quantitative - complete Identify Most Feasible Alternative - complete Revised Most Feasible Alternative An extensive process has led us to tonight s meeting. Initially, a universe of transportation alternatives were identified within the State Highway 35 Corridor Study Area. Once the universe of alternatives were identified, three separate screening processes were used identify the most feasible alternative. These included fatal flaw, qualitative and quantitative screening. The Screening process identified the most feasible alternative which was presented at public meetings in August of Since the August meetings, additional studies and coordination have led to a revision to the most feasible alternative and that revision will be presented tonight for your input. 4

5 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) In Development Studies the SH 35 corridor between Bellfort Road and FM 1462 Additional Studies will be performed for the segment from FM 1462 to SH 288 at a later time Public input requested In addition to the Major Corridor Feasibility Study, an Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, has been in development for a portion of the study area. The EIS studies the State Highway 35 corridor between Bellfort Road and FM 1462 south of Alvin. An EIS of proposed transportation improvements within the State Highway 35 corridor north of Bellfort Road has already been performed by the Texas Department of Transportation. Additional studies of State Highway 35 will be performed for the segment between FM 1462 and State Highway 288 at a later time. Your input on the environmental studies conducted as part of the EIS is welcomed here tonight. 5

6 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Need and Purpose The purpose for the SH 35 project is to improve mobility, safety and effectiveness of the roadway system to accommodate growth in the project area while preserving and enhancing social, community and economic viability and protecting the natural environment. The Need and Purpose statement of the Environmental Impact Statement is a very important part of the document and reads as follows: The purpose for the State Highway 35 project is to improve mobility, safety and effectiveness of the roadway system to accommodate growth in the project area while preserving and enhancing social, community and economic viability and protecting the natural environment. The need and purpose statement and the goals of the feasibility study are very closely related. 6

7 Environmental Process Notice of Intent Alternative Analysis Tonight's meeting is part of the Alternative Analysis. Draft EIS Preparation Input received tonight will be included in the Draft EIS. The Texas Department of Transportation began the Environmental Process for State Highway 35 by publishing a notice of the agency s intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. This has been followed by an extensive alternative analysis process which has included the Major Corridor Feasibility Study. Tonight s meeting is part of the Alternative Analysis. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement is currently under preparation and input received from this meeting will be incorporated into the Draft EIS. 7

8 Environmental Process Notice of Intent Alternative Analysis Draft EIS Preparation Public Hearing Final EIS Preparation Record of Decision After the Draft EIS has been reviewed and approved by the Federal Highway Administration, you will have another opportunity to provide input on the project at a Public Hearing which we anticipate conducting in the summer of After the public hearing and all comments have been incorporated and addressed, the EIS will be updated and a final version sent to the Federal Highway Administration for their consideration. The EIS is officially approved if the Federal Highway Administration issues a Record of Decision. 8

9 Revised Most Feasible Alternative Input at August 2005 Public Meetings Revised Most Feasible Alternative developed Modified Mykawa Corridor The Most Feasible Alignment has been revised since the last series of public meetings conducted in August of Input from the previously conducted public meetings and from the City of Pearland and others has been evaluated. A Revised Most Feasible Alternative has been developed and will be presented tonight for your consideration. This alternative is also known as the Modified Mykawa Corridor. 9

10 Revised Most Feasible Alternative SH 35 Major Highway Improvements 8-Lane Tollway between IH 45 and Bellfort along Spur 5 6-Lane Tollway between Bellfort and Beltway 8 4-Lane Tollway from Beltway 8 along existing Mykawa Road connecting with existing SH 35 north of Dixie Farm Road 4-Lane Tollway on Alvin Bypass The Revised Most Feasible Alternative consists of the following Major Highway Improvements: An 8-lane tollway between Interstate Highway 45 and Bellfort Road The tollway would run along existing Spur 5 and the west side of the existing railroad tracks between Interstate Highway 45 and Interstate Highway 610. Between Interstate Highway 610 and Bellfort Road, the tollway would run along the east side of the railroad tracks A 6-lane tollway between Bellfort Road and Beltway 8 The tollway would cross from the east side of the railroad tracks to the west side of the tracks somewhere between Dixie Drive and Sims Bayou. We will examine three alternative designs for the cross-over later in this presentation. South of Sims Bayou, the tollway would be on the west side of the railroad tracks and run along the existing Mykawa road. A 4-lane tollway from Beltway 8 along the existing Mykawa Road and railroad connecting with the existing State Highway 35 north of existing Dixie Farm Road This is the only section of the previously presented Most Feasible Alternative that has changed. This revised alignment runs through the City of Pearland. The last section of tollway is a 4-lane tollway on the existing State Highway 35 to the southern terminus of the Alvin Bypass. 10

11 Revised Most Feasible Alternative Arterial Improvements Expand existing SH 35 between FM 518 and the Alvin Bypass Expand existing SH 35 between the Alvin Bypass and FM 523 Expand FM 523 between SH 35 and SH 288 Arterial Improvements remain the same as in the previously presented most feasible alternative and consist of: Expanding the existing State Highway 35 between FM 518 and the Alvin Bypass; Expanding the existing State Highway 35 between the Alvin Bypass and FM 523; and Expanding the existing FM 523 between State Highway 35 and State Highway

12 Revised Most Feasible Alternative Transit Improvements Commuter Rail between downtown Houston and Alvin Houston Station IH 610 Station Beltway 8 Station Pearland Station Alvin Station Expand existing and construct new park and ride lots Transit improvements also remain the same as in the previously presented most feasible alternative and include: A commuter rail between downtown Houston and Alvin. Stations are anticipated in the vicinity of downtown Houston, Interstate Highway 610, Beltway 8, Pearland and Alvin. Transit improvements also consist of expanding existing and constructing new park and ride lots. 12

13 Revised Most Feasible Alternative Other Improvements Intersection Improvements Signal Synchronization Transit, Bikeway and Pedestrian Improvements Intelligent Transportation System Improvements Dynamic Message Signs Closed Circuit TV Cameras Motorist Assistance Patrol Other improvements included in the previously presented most feasible alternative are retained in the Revised Most Feasible Alternative and include: Intersection improvements; Signal synchronization; Transit, bikeway and pedestrian improvements; Intelligent transportation system improvements; Dynamic Message Signs; Closed circuit TV cameras; and, Motorist assistance patrol. 13

14 SH 35 in Pearland Toll Road Alignment revised to go through Pearland along BNSF Railroad Connects with existing SH 35 north of Dixie Farm Road Arterial Improvements and Commuter Rail have not been revised As mentioned earlier, the only major change to the previously presented most feasible alternative regards the section of State Highway 35 through Pearland. The toll road alignment has been revised to pass through the City of Pearland along the BNSF railroad rather than using Martin Luther King, FM 1128, County Road 98 and new right-of-way to the west of downtown Pearland. The tollway would cross over from the railroad corridor to the existing State Highway 35 just north of Dixie Farm Road. Arterial improvements and the commuter rail component of the Revised Most Feasible Alternative have not changed. 14

15 SH 35 at Law Park Three new SH 35 alignment alternatives Along East Side of Railroad Track Along West Side of Railroad Track West of Law Park on New Location Public Input on Alignment Alternatives Requested Three different tollway alignments are being considered in the area just south of Interstate Highway 610 in the vicinity of Law Park. 15

16 SH 35 at Law Park Three new SH 35 alignment alternatives Along East Side of Railroad Track Along West Side of Railroad Track West of Law Park on New Location Public Input on Alignment Alternatives Requested The first of these alternatives would located the tollway along the east side of the railroad track to the north of Sims Bayou and would cross over to the west side of the railroad track just south of Sims Bayou. This alternative would impact homes in the Overbrook neighborhood on the east side of the railroad. 16

17 SH 35 at Law Park Three new SH 35 alignment alternatives Along East Side of Railroad Track Along West Side of Railroad Track West of Law Park on New Location Public Input on Alignment Alternatives Requested The second alternative would locate the tollway on the west side of the railroad tracks starting in the vicinity of Bellfort Road and continuing to the south along the existing Mykawa alignment. This alternative would impact homes in the Edgewood and Belfort Park neighborhoods on the west side of the railroad as well as impact Law Park. 17

18 SH 35 at Law Park Three new SH 35 alignment alternatives Along East Side of Railroad Track Along West Side of Railroad Track West of Law Park on New Location Public Input on Alignment Alternatives Requested The third alternative would involve taking the tollway out of the railroad corridor, following utility easements and acquiring new right-of-way to the west of Law Park. This alternative would reconnect with the railroad corridor in the vicinity of Orem Drive. This alternative would impact homes in the Edgewood and Belfort Park neighborhoods north of Sims Bayou and the Golden Glade Estates neighborhood south of Sims Bayou. 18

19 SH 35 at Law Park Three new SH 35 alignment alternatives Along East Side of Railroad Track Along West Side of Railroad Track West of Law Park on New Location Public Input on Alignment Alternatives Requested All three alternatives are still under consideration and your input regarding these alignments will assist us in making our decisions as to which one would move forward as the most feasible. 19

20 Tonight You Will Have the Opportunity to: Review the various exhibits Discuss and ask questions regarding the Major Corridor Feasibility Study, the Environmental Impact Statement and the Revised Most Feasible Alternative Make written comments for the record Tonight s meeting is being conducted in a open house format. In addition to this presentation, we invite you to review the additional exhibits shown here tonight, visit with the TxDOT and consulting firm staff present and make written comments for the official record. 20

21 Next Steps: Receive and document public comments Complete Major Corridor Feasibility Study Complete Draft Environmental Impact Statement FHWA consideration of Draft EIS Public Hearing Approval of Final EIS Right-of-way Acquisition Final Design and Construction Following tonight s meeting, written comments received tonight and written comments that are ed or mailed and postmarked by April 16th, 2007, will be documented and made part of the official record. The Major Corridor Feasibility Study will be completed. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be completed and submitted to the Federal Highway Administration, FHWA, for their consideration. If the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is approved, a Public Hearing would be conducted and public input would be incorporated into a Final Environmental Impact Statement. After the Final Environmental Impact Statement is approved, right-of-way acquisition would begin. Final Design and Plan Preparation would follow the Final Environmental Impact Statement approval and then the project would move into the Construction phase, currently estimated to begin in

22 We Welcome Your Comments Written Comments: Comment forms are available at the Sign-In Station and Written Comment Station Written Comments can also be submitted to All comments must be received by: April 16, 2007 Anyone wishing to make a comment can do so by submitting comments in writing. You should have received a comment form when you signed in that you can either complete and return tonight or mail in later. You may also submit your comments electronically to HOU- This address is indicated on the handout your received when you signed in tonight. All comments must be received or postmarked by April 16th, 2007, for inclusion in the official meeting record. 22

23 We Welcome Your Comments The Public Meeting Summary will be available for review in approximately two months at: TxDOT Houston District Office TxDOT Houston District Website Comments received as a result of this meeting will be compiled in the form of an official record documenting this meeting and will be available for review in approximately two months at the TxDOT Houston District Office or on the TxDOT Houston District webpage. This webpage address is also indicated on the handout you received when you signed in tonight. 23

24 THANK YOU! At this time we invite you to visit the various stations for more detail on specific elements of the SH 35 Major Corridor Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement. At this time we invite you to visit the various stations for more detail on specific elements of the State Highway 35 Major Corridor Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement. We thank you for attending tonight s public meeting. Please remember to register at the sign-in station if you have not already done so. Have a good evening. This presentation will repeat shortly. 24

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