Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a Proposed Highway Between Bush, LA and I-12 in St. Tammany Parish, LA, 55887-55889 [2011-23085]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 175 / Friday, September 9, 2011 / Notices other Federal agency after execution of an interagency agreement. Comment 3: Four commenters noted that selection criterion (b) does not clearly address the transportation impacts on the community, noting that any expenditure of funds related to BRAC-affected areas should expressly take into consideration the larger effects on the community outside the perimeter of a military facility. They requested that the medical facility and its needs be considered in the broader context of the larger community—business and residential—in which it resides. Response: Although selection criterion (b) was intended to capture the overall magnitude of the transportation problem, to include its effect on the surrounding community, we agree that this criterion lacked sufficient clarity on that point. Therefore, selection criterion (b) has been modified to state more clearly that the effect on the surrounding community is also being considered. Comment 4: One commenter requested the addition of three new criteria addressing: (i) The extent to which the project contributes to on-base parking demand (negative factor) or relieves parking demand (positive factor); (ii) the effect of a project on pedestrian, bicycle, and transit access to the DoD facility; and (iii) the degree of mitigation (positive factor) or contribution to vulnerability to a terrorist attack or major accident (negative factor) of an existing or proposed transportation facility. Response: The commenter raises several valid issues pertaining to specific design considerations/effects that may be relevant to a project depending on the nature of the transportation problem and the proposed solution. Rather than create additional criteria, however, we believe these issues can be adequately addressed with a modification to selection criterion (d) that addresses the degree to which a project resolves a transportation issue. We have, therefore, added these issues as examples in selection criterion (d) of how a project might resolve a transportation issue. Final Selection Criteria—Accordingly, Section V, paragraphs 1.(a) through 1.(d) of the July 21, 2011, notice are revised and re-issued as follows: 1. Selection Criteria—Upon validating the eligibility of the interested respondent to apply for assistance, an evaluation panel, designated by OEA, evaluates proposal content conforming to this notice as the basis for inviting a formal grant application. The proposed selection criteria, with relative weights, are: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:58 Sep 08, 2011 Jkt 223001 (a) The extent to which the transportation issue impedes the provision of care, i.e., the military medical mission (e.g., the greater the number of patients, patient visitors and patient care workers impacted, the more serious the consequences to patients, etc., the higher the score), 25%; (b) The magnitude (e.g. overall number of people affected, degree of failure, etc.) of the transportation issue that affects the military medical facility and its surrounding community, expressed in terms of accepted and appropriate transportation planning and assessment techniques (the greater the magnitude of the issue, the higher the score), 25%; (c) The applicant’s ability to execute the proposed project, including the extent of other funding for the project and the ability to meet project timelines and budgets, acquire site control, permits or concurrences of affected parties, etc. (the greater the demonstration of the applicant’s ability, the greater the score), 25%; and (d) The extent to which the proposed construction project resolves the transportation issue (e.g., improves both vehicular and non-vehicular access to the facility; reduces parking demand; improves public safety and mitigates potential vulnerability to a major accident or incident, etc. The more the project does to resolve the transportation issue, the higher the score), 25%. All other information announced in the July 21, 2011 notice, including the proposal submission deadline and application and submission information, remains unchanged. Dated: September 2, 2011. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 2011–23041 Filed 9–8–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a Proposed Highway Between Bush, LA and I–12 in St. Tammany Parish, LA Department of the Army, U.S. Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is issuing this notice to advise the public that a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55887 has been completed and is available for review and comment. DATES: Comments on the DEIS must be received no later than 5 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday, October 24, 2011. Send comments to U.S. Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, 7400 Leake Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70188. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the proposed action and the DEIS should be addressed to James A. Barlow, Jr., PhD, Regulatory Branch, phone (504) 862–2250 or e-mail at james.a.barlow@usace.army.mil, or Ms. Brenda Archer, Regulatory Branch, phone (504) 862–2046 or e-mail at brenda.a.archer@usace.army.mil. ADDRESSES: The DEIS has been prepared to address the NEPA, environmental and cultural resource laws, USACE Regulatory Program Regulations (Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] parts 320– 332), including the 33 CFR part 325, Appendix B, and the requirements of the section 404(b)(1) guidelines (40 CFR part 230), to gather information needed for the USACE permit decision-making process regarding a permit application submitted by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD). LADOTD proposes construction of a high-speed, four-lane arterial highway from the southern terminus of the current, modern fourlane arterial portion of LA 21 in Bush, Louisiana, to I–12, a distance between 17.4 and 21 miles. The majority of the proposed highway would be designed as a rural arterial road RA–3 with a design speed of 70 miles per hour, which, according to LADOTD, generally equates to a posted speed limit of 65 miles per hour. The typical cross section would have two 12-foot travel lanes, an 8- to 10-foot outside shoulder, and a 4foot inside shoulder in each direction. The median width would vary depending on highway design class used ranging between 40 and 60 feet, and a maximum ROW requirement of 250 feet. The exception to that design could be as the proposed project transitions into existing roadways (i.e. intersections), and where alternative alignments follow the existing LA 21. The proposed I–12 to Bush highway is an effort planned by LADOTD and funded by the Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development (TIMED) program (Louisiana Revised Statute 48:820.2). The stated mission of the TIMED program is to, ‘‘foster economic development throughout the state of SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\09SEN1.SGM 09SEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 55888 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 175 / Friday, September 9, 2011 / Notices Louisiana and enhance the quality of life for its residents through an investment in transportation projects.’’ The TIMED program, approved by the 1989 General Session of the Louisiana State Legislature, identified a 15-year construction program funded by a 4cent fuel tax, which includes the construction of the proposed LA 3241 highway between Bush, LA and I–12 in St. Tammany Parish. Revised Statute 47:820.2.B(1)(e) provides for a project from I–12 to Bush to be constructed as a four-lane or more highway. The proposed highway would provide a four-lane highway connection for Washington and northern St. Tammany Parishes to I–12, with the purported goal of providing for regional transportation needs and stimulating undefined economic growth and activity in the region. LADOTD has stated that the proposed highway is needed as an alternative north-south connection that could reduce congestion and delays for those traveling from northern St. Tammany Parish and Washington Parish to I–12. As stated by LADOTD, the needs of the proposed action are to: (1) Fulfill the legislative mandate, Louisiana Revised Statute 47:820.2B(e); (2) provide a logical, direct, modern, high-speed, four-lane arterial to I–12 from the southern terminus of the current, modern, four-lane arterial portion of LA 21; (3) divert traffic from Washington and northern St. Tammany Parishes onto a four-lane, modern, high-speed arterial to free capacity for local trips on segments of existing routes in southern suburban areas and reduce congestion during peak and some non-peak periods; and (4) support and enhance the existing and developing economic activities in Washington and northern St. Tammany Parishes that rely on the highway network to reach their markets by providing a travel time savings. The Corps defines the overall project purpose as to construct a four-lane arterial highway from the southern terminus of LA 21 in Bush, Louisiana, to I–12. The need for the project is to meet a legislative mandate in Louisiana Revised Statute 47:820.2B(e), which requires, ‘‘[t]he Louisiana Highway 3241 project from Interstate 12 to Bush* * *shall be constructed as a [four]-lane or more highway.’’ The project area is entirely within St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, and roughly bounded by LA 21, U.S. Highway (US) 190, I–12, US 11, and LA 41. It encompasses approximately 245 square miles in area and includes the incorporated areas of Abita Springs, Pearl River, and portions of the cities of Slidell and Covington. Unincorporated VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:58 Sep 08, 2011 Jkt 223001 areas such as Bush, Hickory, Talisheek, and Waldheim are included in the project area. The DEIS examines the No Build Alternative, Alternative B/O, Alternative J, Alternative P, and Alternative Q as the principal alternatives for detailed analysis. These alternatives are described in the following paragraphs. Alternative 1: No Build Alternative. Under the No Build Alternative, the Corps would not issue any permits for construction of a new modern, highspeed, four-lane highway between Bush and I–12. As a result, the existing roadway network in the region would remain in its current condition and continue to serve as the transportation network to travel between Bush and I– 12. The No Build Alternative ensures that there would be no direct or indirect impacts to threatened and endangered species, wetlands, environmentally sensitive areas, aquatic resources, or historic sites. Including the CEQrequired No Build Alternative in the EIS serves as a benchmark against which build alternatives can be evaluated. If the proposed highway is not constructed, project-related impacts would be avoided. Other alternatives would have to be developed to provide anticipated project benefits. Alternative 2: Alternative B/O. Under Alternative B/O, LA 21 would be widened to a four-lane highway from Bush to just north of Waldheim, then continue as a new four-lane roadway approximately 5 miles west of LA 1083, terminating at LA 1088 near I–12. The alternative would be approximately 19.5 miles long, with 7.0 miles on existing alignment and 12.5 miles on new alignment. The majority of the alignment would consist of an RA–3 typical cross section, which would have a typical ROW width requirement of 250 feet. Control of access could be provided except where the highway follows existing LA 21 and highway crossings at LA 435 and LA 36, and the connection to LA 1088. Alternative 3: Alternative J. Under Alternative J, a new four-lane highway following the abandoned railroad corridor would be constructed from Bush to a point due north of the Slidell Municipal Airport. From that point, the proposed route would connect to Airport Road, which ties into I–12 at an existing interchange (Exit 80). This proposed route would be approximately 21.1 miles long, with 14.2 miles using the abandoned railroad embankment, 5.4 miles on new alignment, and 1.5 miles of existing roadway. The majority of the route (17.5 miles) would consist of an RA–3 typical cross section, which PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 would have a typical ROW width of 250 feet. The northern 0.7 mile of the route would consist of a rural arterial-2 (RA– 2) cross section, while the southern 1.9 miles would have suburban arterial SA– 1 cross section. Control of access to the route could be provided for the section of highway classified as RA–3 (17.5 miles), except for the segment through Talisheek (2.0 miles) and where the highway crosses LA 435 and LA 36. Alternative 4: Alternative P. Under Alternative P, a new alignment would begin at the intersection of LA 41 and LA 40 in Bush and proceed southward for approximately 17.4 miles to LA 1088. The majority of the project (15.2 miles) would consist of an RA–3 typical cross section, which has a typical ROW width requirement of 250 feet. The northern 0.7 mile of the project would consist of an RA–2 cross section, which also has a ROW width of 250 feet. The exception to that design would be at the southern end of the project area. The last 1.5 miles would be designed as a suburban arterial -1 typical section, which has a ROW width of approximately 180 feet. The proposed route would use an abandoned railroad corridor from Bush to Talisheek, a distance of approximately 2.5 miles, before turning southwesterly for approximately 13.3 miles on a new alignment to connect with LA 1088 north of I–12. Access for this route would be provided in Bush, at LA 435, at LA 36, and at the intersection with LA 1088. Crossings of existing highways would be at grade. Alternative 5: Alternative Q. Under Alternative Q, a new four-lane highway following the abandoned railroad corridor would be constructed from Bush to a point approximately 1.7 miles north of LA 36. From that point, the proposed route would leave the railroad corridor and connect to LA 434, which ties into I–12 at an existing interchange (Exit 74). This alternative would be approximately 19.8 miles long, with 9.8 miles using the abandoned railroad embankment, 8.7 miles on new alignment, and 1.3 miles on existing roadway. The majority of the alternative (17.2 miles) would consist of an RA–3 typical cross section, which would have a typical ROW width of 250 feet. The northern 0.7 miles of the route would have an RA–2 cross section, with a ROW width of 250 feet. Control of access to the route could be provided for the section of highway classified as RA– 3 (17.3 miles), except for the segment through Talisheek (2.0 miles) and where the highway crosses LA 435, LA 36, and connects to LA 434. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), we E:\FR\FM\09SEN1.SGM 09SEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 175 / Friday, September 9, 2011 / Notices have filed the DEIS with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for publication of their notice of availability in the Federal Register. The EPA notice officially starts the 45-day review period for this document. It is the goal of the USACE to have this notice published on the same date as the EPA notice. However, if that does not occur, the date of the EPA notice will determine the closing date for comments on the DEIS. Scoping: A Scoping Meeting was held in Abita Springs, Louisiana, on January 22, 2009 to solicit input from interested agencies and the public regarding the range of issues and alternatives that should be considered in the EIS. A Public notice was posted on the District’s webpage and local newspapers, and mailed to current stakeholder lists with notification of the public meetings and requesting input and comments on issues that should be addressed in the DEIS. A public hearing for this DEIS will be held on September 28, 2011 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in Abita Springs, Louisiana, at the Abita Springs Town Hall located on 22161 Level Street. The purpose of this public hearing is to provide the public the opportunity to comment, either orally or in writing, on the DEIS. Notification of the hearing will be announced following the same format as the Scoping Meetings announcements. The DEIS is available online on the New Orleans District Web site at http:// www.mvn.usace.army.mil/ops/ regulatory/reg_regulatory_news.asp and the I–12 to Bush Web site at http:// www.i12tobush.com. Copies of the DEIS are also available for review at the following libraries: 1. St. Tammany Parish Library: —Abita Springs Branch, 71683 Leveson Street, Abita Springs, LA 70420. —Bush Branch, 81597 Highway 41, Bush, LA 70431. —Covington Branch, 310 W. 21st Avenue, Covington, LA 70433. —Lee Road Branch, 79213 Highway 40, Covington, LA 70435. —Mandeville Branch, 844 Girod Street, Mandeville, LA 70448. —Pearl River Branch, 64580 Highway 41, Pearl River, LA 70452. —Slidell Branch, 555 Robert Boulevard, Slidell, LA 70458. 2. Franklinton Library, 825 Free Street, Franklinton, LA 70438. 3. Bogalusa Library, 304 Avenue F, Bogalusa, LA 70427. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:58 Sep 08, 2011 Jkt 223001 4. Louisiana State Library, 701 North 4th Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. 5. University of New Orleans, Earl K. Long Library, Louisiana Collection, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148. Dated: August 25, 2011. Pete J. Serio, Chief, Regulatory Division. [FR Doc. 2011–23085 Filed 9–8–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [CFDA Numbers 84.215N; 84.215P] Reopening Notice: Promise Neighborhoods Program— Implementation Grant Competition; Promise Neighborhoods Program— Planning Grant Competition Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Education (Department) reopens the competition for transmittal of applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2011 under the Promise Neighborhoods Program Implementation and Planning grant competitions. The Department takes this action to allow more time for the preparation and submission of applications by prospective eligible applicants affected by the severe storms, flooding, property damage, and loss of electrical power that occurred as a result of Hurricane Irene on the East Coast of the United States, beginning on August 26, 2011, and continuing through the publication of this notice. The reopening of the competitions is intended to help affected eligible applicants compete fairly with other eligible applicants under this competition. Due to the widespread impact of Hurricane Irene, the competition is reopened to all eligible applicants. SUMMARY: The revised deadlines for transmitting applications under the Promise Neighborhoods Program Implementation and Planning grant competitions are listed in the chart entitled ‘‘List of Affected Programs’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: The deadline date for Intergovernmental Review under Executive Order 12372 is changed from DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55889 November 3, 2011 to November 10, 2011. The addresses and telephone numbers for obtaining applications for or information about the Promise Neighborhoods Program Implementation and Planning grant competitions are in the notice inviting applications for these competitions. We have also provided the date and Federal Register citations of the notice inviting applications for these competitions in the chart entitled ‘‘List of Affected Programs’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877–8339. Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person listed in the notice inviting applications for these programs. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Eligibility: On July 6, 2011, we published in the Federal Register two notices inviting applications for new awards for FY 2011 under the Promise Neighborhoods Program—one for the Planning grant competition and one for the Implementation grant competition. We are reopening these competitions and establishing new dates for the transmittal deadline for applications and the deadline for intergovernmental review for each of these competitions. The extension of the application deadline dates in this notice applies to all eligible applicants under the FY 2011 Promise Neighborhoods Program Implementation and Planning grant competitions. We note that under the Promise Neighborhoods Implementation and Planning grant competitions, the eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations that meet the definition of a nonprofit under CFR 77.1(c), which may include a faith-based nonprofit organization; an institute of higher education as defined by section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended; and an Indian Tribe (as defined in the original notices inviting applications published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2011). The following is information about the competitions covered by this notice: E:\FR\FM\09SEN1.SGM 09SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 175 (Friday, September 9, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55887-55889]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-23085]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers


Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a Proposed Highway 
Between Bush, LA and I-12 in St. Tammany Parish, LA

AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is issuing this 
notice to advise the public that a Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
(DEIS) has been completed and is available for review and comment.

DATES: Comments on the DEIS must be received no later than 5 p.m. 
Central Standard Time, Monday, October 24, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to U.S. Corps of Engineers, New Orleans 
District, 7400 Leake Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70188.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the proposed action 
and the DEIS should be addressed to James A. Barlow, Jr., PhD, 
Regulatory Branch, phone (504) 862-2250 or e-mail at 
james.a.barlow@usace.army.mil, or Ms. Brenda Archer, Regulatory Branch, 
phone (504) 862-2046 or e-mail at brenda.a.archer@usace.army.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The DEIS has been prepared to address the 
NEPA, environmental and cultural resource laws, USACE Regulatory 
Program Regulations (Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 
parts 320-332), including the 33 CFR part 325, Appendix B, and the 
requirements of the section 404(b)(1) guidelines (40 CFR part 230), to 
gather information needed for the USACE permit decision-making process 
regarding a permit application submitted by the Louisiana Department of 
Transportation and Development (LADOTD). LADOTD proposes construction 
of a high-speed, four-lane arterial highway from the southern terminus 
of the current, modern four-lane arterial portion of LA 21 in Bush, 
Louisiana, to I-12, a distance between 17.4 and 21 miles. The majority 
of the proposed highway would be designed as a rural arterial road RA-3 
with a design speed of 70 miles per hour, which, according to LADOTD, 
generally equates to a posted speed limit of 65 miles per hour. The 
typical cross section would have two 12-foot travel lanes, an 8- to 10-
foot outside shoulder, and a 4-foot inside shoulder in each direction. 
The median width would vary depending on highway design class used 
ranging between 40 and 60 feet, and a maximum ROW requirement of 250 
feet. The exception to that design could be as the proposed project 
transitions into existing roadways (i.e. intersections), and where 
alternative alignments follow the existing LA 21.
    The proposed I-12 to Bush highway is an effort planned by LADOTD 
and funded by the Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic 
Development (TIMED) program (Louisiana Revised Statute 48:820.2). The 
stated mission of the TIMED program is to, ``foster economic 
development throughout the state of

[[Page 55888]]

Louisiana and enhance the quality of life for its residents through an 
investment in transportation projects.'' The TIMED program, approved by 
the 1989 General Session of the Louisiana State Legislature, identified 
a 15-year construction program funded by a 4-cent fuel tax, which 
includes the construction of the proposed LA 3241 highway between Bush, 
LA and I-12 in St. Tammany Parish. Revised Statute 47:820.2.B(1)(e) 
provides for a project from I-12 to Bush to be constructed as a four-
lane or more highway. The proposed highway would provide a four-lane 
highway connection for Washington and northern St. Tammany Parishes to 
I-12, with the purported goal of providing for regional transportation 
needs and stimulating undefined economic growth and activity in the 
region.
    LADOTD has stated that the proposed highway is needed as an 
alternative north-south connection that could reduce congestion and 
delays for those traveling from northern St. Tammany Parish and 
Washington Parish to I-12. As stated by LADOTD, the needs of the 
proposed action are to: (1) Fulfill the legislative mandate, Louisiana 
Revised Statute 47:820.2B(e); (2) provide a logical, direct, modern, 
high-speed, four-lane arterial to I-12 from the southern terminus of 
the current, modern, four-lane arterial portion of LA 21; (3) divert 
traffic from Washington and northern St. Tammany Parishes onto a four-
lane, modern, high-speed arterial to free capacity for local trips on 
segments of existing routes in southern suburban areas and reduce 
congestion during peak and some non-peak periods; and (4) support and 
enhance the existing and developing economic activities in Washington 
and northern St. Tammany Parishes that rely on the highway network to 
reach their markets by providing a travel time savings.
    The Corps defines the overall project purpose as to construct a 
four-lane arterial highway from the southern terminus of LA 21 in Bush, 
Louisiana, to I-12. The need for the project is to meet a legislative 
mandate in Louisiana Revised Statute 47:820.2B(e), which requires, 
``[t]he Louisiana Highway 3241 project from Interstate 12 to Bush* * 
*shall be constructed as a [four]-lane or more highway.''
    The project area is entirely within St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, 
and roughly bounded by LA 21, U.S. Highway (US) 190, I-12, US 11, and 
LA 41. It encompasses approximately 245 square miles in area and 
includes the incorporated areas of Abita Springs, Pearl River, and 
portions of the cities of Slidell and Covington. Unincorporated areas 
such as Bush, Hickory, Talisheek, and Waldheim are included in the 
project area.
    The DEIS examines the No Build Alternative, Alternative B/O, 
Alternative J, Alternative P, and Alternative Q as the principal 
alternatives for detailed analysis. These alternatives are described in 
the following paragraphs.
    Alternative 1: No Build Alternative. Under the No Build 
Alternative, the Corps would not issue any permits for construction of 
a new modern, high-speed, four-lane highway between Bush and I-12. As a 
result, the existing roadway network in the region would remain in its 
current condition and continue to serve as the transportation network 
to travel between Bush and I-12. The No Build Alternative ensures that 
there would be no direct or indirect impacts to threatened and 
endangered species, wetlands, environmentally sensitive areas, aquatic 
resources, or historic sites. Including the CEQ-required No Build 
Alternative in the EIS serves as a benchmark against which build 
alternatives can be evaluated. If the proposed highway is not 
constructed, project-related impacts would be avoided. Other 
alternatives would have to be developed to provide anticipated project 
benefits.
    Alternative 2: Alternative B/O. Under Alternative B/O, LA 21 would 
be widened to a four-lane highway from Bush to just north of Waldheim, 
then continue as a new four-lane roadway approximately 5 miles west of 
LA 1083, terminating at LA 1088 near I-12. The alternative would be 
approximately 19.5 miles long, with 7.0 miles on existing alignment and 
12.5 miles on new alignment. The majority of the alignment would 
consist of an RA-3 typical cross section, which would have a typical 
ROW width requirement of 250 feet. Control of access could be provided 
except where the highway follows existing LA 21 and highway crossings 
at LA 435 and LA 36, and the connection to LA 1088.
    Alternative 3: Alternative J. Under Alternative J, a new four-lane 
highway following the abandoned railroad corridor would be constructed 
from Bush to a point due north of the Slidell Municipal Airport. From 
that point, the proposed route would connect to Airport Road, which 
ties into I-12 at an existing interchange (Exit 80). This proposed 
route would be approximately 21.1 miles long, with 14.2 miles using the 
abandoned railroad embankment, 5.4 miles on new alignment, and 1.5 
miles of existing roadway. The majority of the route (17.5 miles) would 
consist of an RA-3 typical cross section, which would have a typical 
ROW width of 250 feet. The northern 0.7 mile of the route would consist 
of a rural arterial-2 (RA-2) cross section, while the southern 1.9 
miles would have suburban arterial SA-1 cross section. Control of 
access to the route could be provided for the section of highway 
classified as RA-3 (17.5 miles), except for the segment through 
Talisheek (2.0 miles) and where the highway crosses LA 435 and LA 36.
    Alternative 4: Alternative P. Under Alternative P, a new alignment 
would begin at the intersection of LA 41 and LA 40 in Bush and proceed 
southward for approximately 17.4 miles to LA 1088. The majority of the 
project (15.2 miles) would consist of an RA-3 typical cross section, 
which has a typical ROW width requirement of 250 feet. The northern 0.7 
mile of the project would consist of an RA-2 cross section, which also 
has a ROW width of 250 feet. The exception to that design would be at 
the southern end of the project area. The last 1.5 miles would be 
designed as a suburban arterial -1 typical section, which has a ROW 
width of approximately 180 feet. The proposed route would use an 
abandoned railroad corridor from Bush to Talisheek, a distance of 
approximately 2.5 miles, before turning southwesterly for approximately 
13.3 miles on a new alignment to connect with LA 1088 north of I-12. 
Access for this route would be provided in Bush, at LA 435, at LA 36, 
and at the intersection with LA 1088. Crossings of existing highways 
would be at grade.
    Alternative 5: Alternative Q. Under Alternative Q, a new four-lane 
highway following the abandoned railroad corridor would be constructed 
from Bush to a point approximately 1.7 miles north of LA 36. From that 
point, the proposed route would leave the railroad corridor and connect 
to LA 434, which ties into I-12 at an existing interchange (Exit 74). 
This alternative would be approximately 19.8 miles long, with 9.8 miles 
using the abandoned railroad embankment, 8.7 miles on new alignment, 
and 1.3 miles on existing roadway. The majority of the alternative 
(17.2 miles) would consist of an RA-3 typical cross section, which 
would have a typical ROW width of 250 feet. The northern 0.7 miles of 
the route would have an RA-2 cross section, with a ROW width of 250 
feet. Control of access to the route could be provided for the section 
of highway classified as RA-3 (17.3 miles), except for the segment 
through Talisheek (2.0 miles) and where the highway crosses LA 435, LA 
36, and connects to LA 434.
    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), we

[[Page 55889]]

have filed the DEIS with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
for publication of their notice of availability in the Federal 
Register. The EPA notice officially starts the 45-day review period for 
this document. It is the goal of the USACE to have this notice 
published on the same date as the EPA notice. However, if that does not 
occur, the date of the EPA notice will determine the closing date for 
comments on the DEIS.
    Scoping: A Scoping Meeting was held in Abita Springs, Louisiana, on 
January 22, 2009 to solicit input from interested agencies and the 
public regarding the range of issues and alternatives that should be 
considered in the EIS. A Public notice was posted on the District's 
webpage and local newspapers, and mailed to current stakeholder lists 
with notification of the public meetings and requesting input and 
comments on issues that should be addressed in the DEIS.
    A public hearing for this DEIS will be held on September 28, 2011 
from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in Abita Springs, Louisiana, at the Abita Springs 
Town Hall located on 22161 Level Street. The purpose of this public 
hearing is to provide the public the opportunity to comment, either 
orally or in writing, on the DEIS. Notification of the hearing will be 
announced following the same format as the Scoping Meetings 
announcements.
    The DEIS is available online on the New Orleans District Web site 
at http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/ops/regulatory/reg_regulatory_news.asp and the I-12 to Bush Web site at http://www.i12tobush.com. 
Copies of the DEIS are also available for review at the following 
libraries:
    1. St. Tammany Parish Library:
    --Abita Springs Branch, 71683 Leveson Street, Abita Springs, LA 
70420.
    --Bush Branch, 81597 Highway 41, Bush, LA 70431.
    --Covington Branch, 310 W. 21st Avenue, Covington, LA 70433.
    --Lee Road Branch, 79213 Highway 40, Covington, LA 70435.
    --Mandeville Branch, 844 Girod Street, Mandeville, LA 70448.
    --Pearl River Branch, 64580 Highway 41, Pearl River, LA 70452.
    --Slidell Branch, 555 Robert Boulevard, Slidell, LA 70458.
    2. Franklinton Library, 825 Free Street, Franklinton, LA 70438.
    3. Bogalusa Library, 304 Avenue F, Bogalusa, LA 70427.
    4. Louisiana State Library, 701 North 4th Street, Baton Rouge, LA 
70802.
    5. University of New Orleans, Earl K. Long Library, Louisiana 
Collection, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148.

    Dated: August 25, 2011.
Pete J. Serio,
Chief, Regulatory Division.
[FR Doc. 2011-23085 Filed 9-8-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3720-58-P