Environmental Impact Statement for the Long Bridge Project in Washington, DC, 59036-59038 [2016-20481]

Download as PDF 59036 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 166 / Friday, August 26, 2016 / Notices boarding and exiting the motorcoach and to use the handrail when ascending or descending steps. Encourage passengers to remain seated as much as possible while the motorcoach is in motion. If it is necessary to walk while the motorcoach is moving, passengers should always use handrails and supports. Methods of Presenting the Amended Safety Information The following presentation methods are examples of how to present safety information to motorcoach passengers. The list below should not be construed to restrict combinations of the following methods or additional presentation methods. 1. During passenger boarding— Informational pamphlets or printed materials could be distributed to motorcoach passengers during boarding. 2. After passenger boarding and immediately prior to moving the motorcoach— a. The driver requests the passengers to review informational pamphlets/ printed materials located in the seat back pocket. b. The driver provides an oral presentation (similar to the presentations by airline flight attendants prior to take-off) with or without informational pamphlets/printed materials as visual aids. c. An automated presentation over the motorcoach audio system. d. An automated presentation over the motorcoach video system. Timing and Frequency of the Presentation mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Demand-responsive motorcoach operations, such as charters and tour services, should present the safety information to motorcoach passengers after boarding and prior to movement of the motorcoach. Fixed route motorcoach service operations should present the safety information at all major stops or terminals, after any new passengers have boarded and prior to movement of the motorcoach. Issued on: August 18, 2016. T.F. Scott, Darling, III, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2016–20493 Filed 8–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:17 Aug 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration Environmental Impact Statement for the Long Bridge Project in Washington, DC Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS). AGENCY: FRA announces its intent to prepare an EIS for the Long Bridge Project jointly with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). The Long Bridge Project (Proposed Action) consists of potential improvements to bridge and related railroad infrastructure located between the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Crystal City Station in Arlington, Virginia and Control Point (CP) Virginia in Washington, DC. FRA and DDOT will develop the EIS in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. FRA and DDOT invite the public and Federal, state, and local agencies to provide comments on the scope of the EIS, including the purpose and need; alternatives to analyze; environmental effects to consider and evaluate; methodologies to use for evaluating effects; and the approach for public and agency involvement. DATES: Persons interested in providing written comments on the scope of the EIS (scoping comments) must do so by September 26, 2016. Please submit written comments via the methods specified below. A public scoping meeting is scheduled on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in Washington, DC. The meeting will be held at the L’Enfant Plaza Club Room, Promenade Level, 470 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Oral and written comments will be accepted at the September 14, 2016 meeting. The meeting facilities will be accessible to persons with disabilities. If special translation, signing services, or other special accommodations are needed, please email: info@ longbridgeproject.com, or call 202–671– 2829 at least one week prior to the meeting. ADDRESSES: The public and other interested parties are encouraged to submit written scoping comments by mail, the Internet, email, or in person at the scoping meeting. Scoping comments can be mailed to the address identified in the ‘‘For Further Information SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00135 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Contact’’ paragraph below. Internet and email correspondence may be submitted through the Long Bridge Project Web site (http://longbridgeproject.com/) or at info@longbridgeproject.com. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amanda Murphy, Environmental Protection Specialist, Office of Railroad Policy and Development, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., (Mail Stop–20), Washington, DC 20590; telephone: (202) 493–0624. FRA is an operating administration of DOT and is responsible for overseeing the safety of railroad operations, including the safety of any proposed rail ground transportation system. FRA is also authorized to provide, subject to appropriations, funding for intercity passenger and rail capital investments and to provide loans and other financial support for railroad investment. In 2016, FRA awarded DDOT a grant to prepare an EIS for the Proposed Action, and FRA may provide funding or financing for the rehabilitation or replacement of the Long Bridge in the future. FRA is the lead Federal agency under NEPA; DDOT, as project sponsor, is a joint lead agency. FRA and DDOT will prepare the EIS consistent with NEPA, the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA in 40 CFR parts 1500–1508; FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts in 64 FR 28545, dated May 26, 1999; and 23 U.S.C. 139. After release and circulation of a Draft EIS for public comment, FRA will issue a single document consisting of the Final EIS and a Record of Decision under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (Pub. L. 114–94, section 1304(n)(2)) unless it determines that statutory criteria or practicability considerations preclude issuing a combined document. The EIS will also document compliance with other applicable Federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations, including: section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act; the Clean Water Act; section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966; the Endangered Species Act; Executive Order 11988 and USDOT Order 5650.2 on Floodplain Management; Executive Order 11990 on Protection of Wetlands; the Magnuson-Stevens Act related to Essential Fish Habitat; the Coastal Zone Management Act; and Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\26AUN1.SGM 26AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 166 / Friday, August 26, 2016 / Notices Project Background The current Long Bridge, dating from 1904, is owned and maintained by CSX Transportation (CSXT). It is the only freight railroad crossing over the Potomac River between the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The two-track bridge serves CSXT freight trains, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) passenger rail trains, and VRE commuter rail trains. Norfolk-Southern (NS) has trackage rights on the bridge and connecting CSXT tracks but does not currently exercise those rights. In 2011, DDOT received a High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grant from FRA to complete a two-phase feasibility study of the rehabilitation or replacement of the Long Bridge. Long Bridge Study Phase I included a preliminary operations plan; visual inspection of the corridor; initial evaluation of existing and future capacity needs; and preliminary development of conceptual alternatives. Phase II of the Long Bridge Study developed a draft Purpose and Need Statement; developed a service plan based on future demand in the corridor; further refined conceptual alternatives; and defined evaluation criteria to screen and identify alternatives which will be carried forward for analysis. In 2016, DDOT received a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant from FRA for the preparation of the Long Bridge EIS (Phase III). The Long Bridge is located within the Washington Monumental Core. The EIS Study Area extends approximately 3.2 miles from the VRE Crystal City Station in Arlington, Virginia to CP Virginia located near Third Street SW., in Washington, DC. The EIS Study Area includes Federal park land managed by the National Park Service; historic and cultural properties; the Potomac River; offices, hotels, and apartment buildings; transportation facilities (VRE Crystal City Station, VRE L’Enfant Station, Long Bridge, eleven other railroad bridges, and four roadway bridges); and numerous pedestrian and bicycle trails. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Purpose and Need The purpose of the Proposed Action is to address reliability and long-term railroad capacity issues for the Long Bridge corridor. The Proposed Action is needed to identify alternatives that would increase capacity to meet projected demand for passenger and freight rail services; improve operational flexibility and resiliency; and provide redundancy for this critical link in the VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:17 Aug 25, 2016 Jkt 238001 local, regional, and national railroad network. The need to make improvements to the Long Bridge corridor is noted in various studies. An Amtrak study in 1999 (Potential Improvements to the Washington Richmond Railroad Corridor) identifies the Washington Metropolitan Area, including the Long Bridge, as the most critical section of the Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) corridor and stated the need for capacity improvements. Following the 1999 infrastructure study, FRA completed a Tier 1 EIS for the SEHSR corridor (May 2002). The Tier 1 EIS identified a Preferred Alternative that utilized the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac rail corridor, which includes the Long Bridge. VRE’s System Plan 2040 states that increasing the capacity at the Long Bridge is critical to its long-term growth and development. Additionally, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ National Capital Region Freight Plan recommends a new rail bridge over the Potomac to minimize rail conflicts between passenger and freight trains. Current and projected rail demand supports the need for capacity improvements to the Long Bridge corridor. Intercity passenger and commuter services operate at or close to capacity within the corridor during the morning peak hour, with eight passenger train movements scheduled in 60 minutes. Over the course of a full weekday, Amtrak and VRE currently operate 24 and 32 trains across the Long Bridge, respectively. CSXT freight trains operate approximately 18 throughfreight trains each day on the same tracks used by the two passenger train operators. Future rail demand during peak periods is forecasted to exceed the current capacity for Long Bridge. According to the service plan developed in Phase II of the Long Bridge Project, over the course of the full day, the number of trains crossing the bridge in 2040 is expected to increase to 44 trains for Amtrak, 92 for VRE, eight for the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC); 42 for CSXT, and six for NS. The projected growth represents an average increase of over 100 percent in traffic on the bridge compared to 2015. The existing track infrastructure, which is limited by the two-track design of the Long Bridge, cannot support the increased demand. The removal of additional rail capacity bottlenecks east and south of the Long Bridge, combined with population and employment growth in the Washington Metropolitan Area, increases the need for greater railroad PO 00000 Frm 00136 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59037 capacity within the wider corridor. Attempting to serve future intercity passenger and freight rail demand solely on the current Long Bridge would not provide needed resiliency or redundancy within the Virginia to DC rail network. Limited capacity, coupled with shared-use infrastructure within the corridor, limits the flexibility of commuter, intercity passenger, and freight service to operate efficiently. These conditions create a systemic bottleneck that results in operational conflicts and delays, decreasing reliability and on-time performance of train operations. Currently, there are no reasonable detours to route rail traffic around the Long Bridge for maintenance or emergencies without extensive service delays. This bottleneck limits efficient network connectivity for the rail operators within the Long Bridge corridor, including CSXT, VRE, Amtrak, and potentially MARC, and the overall transportation network. It also affects rail operations well beyond the limits of the Long Bridge corridor given the extensive reach of freight, commuter, and intercity passenger services along the eastern U.S. and beyond. Proposed Alternatives To Consider The EIS will consider a range of reasonable alternatives that FRA and DDOT will develop based on the purpose and need for the Proposed Action, information obtained through the scoping process, and previous reports. The 2015 Long Bridge Study Phase I identified concepts that are included in the initial range of alternatives to be considered in the EIS. FRA and DDOT will evaluate and screen the Phase I concepts and additional concepts during the NEPA process for elimination or further refinement. Alternatives will include the No-Build Alternative and Build Alternatives, including potential rehabilitation and/or replacement of the existing bridge. Possible Effects The EIS will analyze the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of the alternatives on the social, economic, and environmental resources in the Study Area. Environmental resources include, but are not limited to: • • • • • • • • • • Transportation; Social and economic conditions; Property acquisition; Parks and recreational resources; Visual and aesthetic resources; Historic and archaeological resources; Air quality; Aquatic navigation; Greenhouse gas emissions and resilience; Noise and vibration; E:\FR\FM\26AUN1.SGM 26AUN1 59038 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 166 / Friday, August 26, 2016 / Notices • Ecology (including wetlands, water and sediment quality, floodplains, and biological resources); • Threatened and endangered species; • Contaminated materials; and • Environmental Justice. This analysis will include identification of study areas appropriate for each resource; documentation of the affected environment; and identification of measures to avoid and/or mitigate significant adverse impacts. This Notice initiates the scoping process under NEPA, which helps guide the development of the Draft EIS. The FRA and DDOT invite comments from the public and all interested parties regarding the scope of the EIS to ensure that relevant issues, applicable planning efforts, constraints, and reasonable alternatives are addressed early in the development of the EIS. FRA and DDOT will also directly contact appropriate Federal, state, and local agencies as well as and private organizations that have previously expressed or that are known to have an interest in the Proposed Action. FRA and DDOT will coordinate with participating agencies during development of the Draft EIS under 23 U.S.C. 139. FRA will invite all agencies and Native American Tribes that may have an interest in the Proposed Action to become participating agencies for the EIS. If an agency or Native American Tribe is not invited and would like to participate, please contact FRA (‘‘For Further Information Contact’’ section). The lead agencies will develop a Coordination Plan summarizing how the public and other agencies will be engaged in the process. The Coordination Plan will be posted to the Project Web site (http://longbridge project.com/) and to FRA’s Web site (www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0214). mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Future Public Participation and Outreach At various milestones during the development of the Long Bridge EIS, FRA and DDOT will provide additional opportunities for public and interested party consultation, such as public meetings, open houses, newsletters, and requests for comments/review of the EIS. Dates, times, and locations for public meetings and other opportunities for public participation will be announced through the Long Bridge Project Web site (http://longbridge project.com/), mailings, public notices, advertisements, and press releases. 21:17 Aug 25, 2016 [FR Doc. 2016–20481 Filed 8–25–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA—2016–0084; Notice 2] Scoping and Comments VerDate Sep<11>2014 Issued in Washington, DC, on August 19, 2016. Felicia Young, Acting Director, Office of Program Delivery. Jkt 238001 Withdrawal of Amendments to Highway Safety Program Guidelines National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice withdrawal. AGENCY: On August 23, 2016, NHTSA inadvertently published, at 81 FR 57646, a notice seeking comments on a new uniform guideline for State highway safety programs, issued pursuant to section 402 of title 23 of the United States Code requires the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate uniform guidelines for State highway safety programs. NHTSA is withdrawing the August 23, 2016 notice. Authority: 44 U.S.C. Section 3506(c)(2)(A). Issued on: August 23, 2016. Jeff Michael, Associate Administrator, Research and Program Development. [FR Doc. 2016–20578 Filed 8–24–16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Office of the Secretary [Docket No. DOT–OST–2016–0069] Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments; Clearance of a New Information Collection(s): U.S. Department of Transportation Accessibility Concern Form Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1994, (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) intention to request the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) approval for the utilization of the U.S. Department of SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00137 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Transportation Accessibility Concern Form when reporting accessibility challenges faced during travel on our Nation’s streets, sidewalks, crosswalks, buses, trains, airports, and planes. The system will provide an accessible, coordinated, and seamless web-based portal for the traveling public to submit accessibility problems or challenges they face during travel on the Nation’s streets, sidewalks, crosswalks, buses, trains, airports, and planes. The establishment of the system is in response the President’s National Council on Disability (NCD) Report, ‘‘Transition Update: Where We’ve Been and What We’ve Learned,’’ released in 2015, as well as a letter to the Secretary of Transportation from the NCD dated May 12, 2015. The information received through the system will strengthen DOT’s ability to understand the challenges and impacts that passengers with disabilities face every day when they use our nation’ transportation systems. A Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on this information collection was published on June 13, 2016 (81 FR 38264). No comments were received. DATES: Comments on this notice must be received by September 26, 2016. ADDRESSES: Send comments regarding the burden estimate, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to the Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Comments may also be sent via email to OMB at the following address: oira_ submissions@omb.eop.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yvette Rivera, Departmental Office of Civil Rights, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; 202–366–4648; adaconcerns@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OMB Control Number: XXXX–NEW. Title: Transportation Accessibility Concern Form. Form Numbers: None. Type of Review: OMB Approval. Background: The current process for submitting concerns about American with Disabilities Act, as amended, (ADA) and other related civil rights violations is fragmented across the Department—sometimes being time consuming and cumbersome for the traveling public. Establishing a streamlined and consistent process would respond directly to the President’s National Council on Disability, and more importantly, the E:\FR\FM\26AUN1.SGM 26AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 166 (Friday, August 26, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59036-59038]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-20481]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration


Environmental Impact Statement for the Long Bridge Project in 
Washington, DC

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), U.S. Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact 
statement (EIS).

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

SUMMARY: FRA announces its intent to prepare an EIS for the Long Bridge 
Project jointly with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). 
The Long Bridge Project (Proposed Action) consists of potential 
improvements to bridge and related railroad infrastructure located 
between the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Crystal City Station in 
Arlington, Virginia and Control Point (CP) Virginia in Washington, DC. 
FRA and DDOT will develop the EIS in compliance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. FRA and 
DDOT invite the public and Federal, state, and local agencies to 
provide comments on the scope of the EIS, including the purpose and 
need; alternatives to analyze; environmental effects to consider and 
evaluate; methodologies to use for evaluating effects; and the approach 
for public and agency involvement.

DATES: Persons interested in providing written comments on the scope of 
the EIS (scoping comments) must do so by September 26, 2016. Please 
submit written comments via the methods specified below.
    A public scoping meeting is scheduled on Wednesday, September 14, 
2016, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in Washington, DC. The meeting 
will be held at the L'Enfant Plaza Club Room, Promenade Level, 470 
L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Oral and written comments 
will be accepted at the September 14, 2016 meeting. The meeting 
facilities will be accessible to persons with disabilities. If special 
translation, signing services, or other special accommodations are 
needed, please email: info@longbridgeproject.com, or call 202-671-2829 
at least one week prior to the meeting.

ADDRESSES: The public and other interested parties are encouraged to 
submit written scoping comments by mail, the Internet, email, or in 
person at the scoping meeting. Scoping comments can be mailed to the 
address identified in the ``For Further Information Contact'' paragraph 
below. Internet and email correspondence may be submitted through the 
Long Bridge Project Web site (http://longbridgeproject.com/) or at 
info@longbridgeproject.com.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amanda Murphy, Environmental 
Protection Specialist, Office of Railroad Policy and Development, 
Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., (Mail 
Stop-20), Washington, DC 20590; telephone: (202) 493-0624.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FRA is an operating administration of DOT 
and is responsible for overseeing the safety of railroad operations, 
including the safety of any proposed rail ground transportation system. 
FRA is also authorized to provide, subject to appropriations, funding 
for intercity passenger and rail capital investments and to provide 
loans and other financial support for railroad investment. In 2016, FRA 
awarded DDOT a grant to prepare an EIS for the Proposed Action, and FRA 
may provide funding or financing for the rehabilitation or replacement 
of the Long Bridge in the future.
    FRA is the lead Federal agency under NEPA; DDOT, as project 
sponsor, is a joint lead agency. FRA and DDOT will prepare the EIS 
consistent with NEPA, the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations 
for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA in 40 CFR parts 
1500-1508; FRA's Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts in 64 
FR 28545, dated May 26, 1999; and 23 U.S.C. 139. After release and 
circulation of a Draft EIS for public comment, FRA will issue a single 
document consisting of the Final EIS and a Record of Decision under the 
Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (Pub. L. 114-94, section 
1304(n)(2)) unless it determines that statutory criteria or 
practicability considerations preclude issuing a combined document.
    The EIS will also document compliance with other applicable 
Federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations, 
including: section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act; the 
Clean Water Act; section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act 
of 1966; the Endangered Species Act; Executive Order 11988 and USDOT 
Order 5650.2 on Floodplain Management; Executive Order 11990 on 
Protection of Wetlands; the Magnuson-Stevens Act related to Essential 
Fish Habitat; the Coastal Zone Management Act; and Executive Order 
12898 on Environmental Justice.

[[Page 59037]]

Project Background

    The current Long Bridge, dating from 1904, is owned and maintained 
by CSX Transportation (CSXT). It is the only freight railroad crossing 
over the Potomac River between the District of Columbia and the 
Commonwealth of Virginia. The two-track bridge serves CSXT freight 
trains, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) passenger rail 
trains, and VRE commuter rail trains. Norfolk-Southern (NS) has 
trackage rights on the bridge and connecting CSXT tracks but does not 
currently exercise those rights.
    In 2011, DDOT received a High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grant 
from FRA to complete a two-phase feasibility study of the 
rehabilitation or replacement of the Long Bridge. Long Bridge Study 
Phase I included a preliminary operations plan; visual inspection of 
the corridor; initial evaluation of existing and future capacity needs; 
and preliminary development of conceptual alternatives. Phase II of the 
Long Bridge Study developed a draft Purpose and Need Statement; 
developed a service plan based on future demand in the corridor; 
further refined conceptual alternatives; and defined evaluation 
criteria to screen and identify alternatives which will be carried 
forward for analysis. In 2016, DDOT received a Transportation 
Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant from FRA for the 
preparation of the Long Bridge EIS (Phase III).
    The Long Bridge is located within the Washington Monumental Core. 
The EIS Study Area extends approximately 3.2 miles from the VRE Crystal 
City Station in Arlington, Virginia to CP Virginia located near Third 
Street SW., in Washington, DC. The EIS Study Area includes Federal park 
land managed by the National Park Service; historic and cultural 
properties; the Potomac River; offices, hotels, and apartment 
buildings; transportation facilities (VRE Crystal City Station, VRE 
L'Enfant Station, Long Bridge, eleven other railroad bridges, and four 
roadway bridges); and numerous pedestrian and bicycle trails.

Purpose and Need

    The purpose of the Proposed Action is to address reliability and 
long-term railroad capacity issues for the Long Bridge corridor. The 
Proposed Action is needed to identify alternatives that would increase 
capacity to meet projected demand for passenger and freight rail 
services; improve operational flexibility and resiliency; and provide 
redundancy for this critical link in the local, regional, and national 
railroad network.
    The need to make improvements to the Long Bridge corridor is noted 
in various studies. An Amtrak study in 1999 (Potential Improvements to 
the Washington Richmond Railroad Corridor) identifies the Washington 
Metropolitan Area, including the Long Bridge, as the most critical 
section of the Southeast High Speed Rail (SEHSR) corridor and stated 
the need for capacity improvements. Following the 1999 infrastructure 
study, FRA completed a Tier 1 EIS for the SEHSR corridor (May 2002). 
The Tier 1 EIS identified a Preferred Alternative that utilized the 
Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac rail corridor, which includes the 
Long Bridge. VRE's System Plan 2040 states that increasing the capacity 
at the Long Bridge is critical to its long-term growth and development. 
Additionally, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' 
National Capital Region Freight Plan recommends a new rail bridge over 
the Potomac to minimize rail conflicts between passenger and freight 
trains.
    Current and projected rail demand supports the need for capacity 
improvements to the Long Bridge corridor. Intercity passenger and 
commuter services operate at or close to capacity within the corridor 
during the morning peak hour, with eight passenger train movements 
scheduled in 60 minutes. Over the course of a full weekday, Amtrak and 
VRE currently operate 24 and 32 trains across the Long Bridge, 
respectively. CSXT freight trains operate approximately 18 through-
freight trains each day on the same tracks used by the two passenger 
train operators.
    Future rail demand during peak periods is forecasted to exceed the 
current capacity for Long Bridge. According to the service plan 
developed in Phase II of the Long Bridge Project, over the course of 
the full day, the number of trains crossing the bridge in 2040 is 
expected to increase to 44 trains for Amtrak, 92 for VRE, eight for the 
Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC); 42 for CSXT, and six for NS. 
The projected growth represents an average increase of over 100 percent 
in traffic on the bridge compared to 2015. The existing track 
infrastructure, which is limited by the two-track design of the Long 
Bridge, cannot support the increased demand.
    The removal of additional rail capacity bottlenecks east and south 
of the Long Bridge, combined with population and employment growth in 
the Washington Metropolitan Area, increases the need for greater 
railroad capacity within the wider corridor. Attempting to serve future 
intercity passenger and freight rail demand solely on the current Long 
Bridge would not provide needed resiliency or redundancy within the 
Virginia to DC rail network. Limited capacity, coupled with shared-use 
infrastructure within the corridor, limits the flexibility of commuter, 
intercity passenger, and freight service to operate efficiently. These 
conditions create a systemic bottleneck that results in operational 
conflicts and delays, decreasing reliability and on-time performance of 
train operations. Currently, there are no reasonable detours to route 
rail traffic around the Long Bridge for maintenance or emergencies 
without extensive service delays.
    This bottleneck limits efficient network connectivity for the rail 
operators within the Long Bridge corridor, including CSXT, VRE, Amtrak, 
and potentially MARC, and the overall transportation network. It also 
affects rail operations well beyond the limits of the Long Bridge 
corridor given the extensive reach of freight, commuter, and intercity 
passenger services along the eastern U.S. and beyond.

Proposed Alternatives To Consider

    The EIS will consider a range of reasonable alternatives that FRA 
and DDOT will develop based on the purpose and need for the Proposed 
Action, information obtained through the scoping process, and previous 
reports. The 2015 Long Bridge Study Phase I identified concepts that 
are included in the initial range of alternatives to be considered in 
the EIS. FRA and DDOT will evaluate and screen the Phase I concepts and 
additional concepts during the NEPA process for elimination or further 
refinement. Alternatives will include the No-Build Alternative and 
Build Alternatives, including potential rehabilitation and/or 
replacement of the existing bridge.

Possible Effects

    The EIS will analyze the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative 
effects of the alternatives on the social, economic, and environmental 
resources in the Study Area. Environmental resources include, but are 
not limited to:

     Transportation;
     Social and economic conditions;
     Property acquisition;
     Parks and recreational resources;
     Visual and aesthetic resources;
     Historic and archaeological resources;
     Air quality;
     Aquatic navigation;
     Greenhouse gas emissions and resilience;
     Noise and vibration;

[[Page 59038]]

     Ecology (including wetlands, water and sediment 
quality, floodplains, and biological resources);
     Threatened and endangered species;
     Contaminated materials; and
     Environmental Justice.

    This analysis will include identification of study areas 
appropriate for each resource; documentation of the affected 
environment; and identification of measures to avoid and/or mitigate 
significant adverse impacts.

Scoping and Comments

    This Notice initiates the scoping process under NEPA, which helps 
guide the development of the Draft EIS. The FRA and DDOT invite 
comments from the public and all interested parties regarding the scope 
of the EIS to ensure that relevant issues, applicable planning efforts, 
constraints, and reasonable alternatives are addressed early in the 
development of the EIS. FRA and DDOT will also directly contact 
appropriate Federal, state, and local agencies as well as and private 
organizations that have previously expressed or that are known to have 
an interest in the Proposed Action.
    FRA and DDOT will coordinate with participating agencies during 
development of the Draft EIS under 23 U.S.C. 139. FRA will invite all 
agencies and Native American Tribes that may have an interest in the 
Proposed Action to become participating agencies for the EIS. If an 
agency or Native American Tribe is not invited and would like to 
participate, please contact FRA (``For Further Information Contact'' 
section). The lead agencies will develop a Coordination Plan 
summarizing how the public and other agencies will be engaged in the 
process. The Coordination Plan will be posted to the Project Web site 
(http://longbridgeproject.com/) and to FRA's Web site (www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0214).

Future Public Participation and Outreach

    At various milestones during the development of the Long Bridge 
EIS, FRA and DDOT will provide additional opportunities for public and 
interested party consultation, such as public meetings, open houses, 
newsletters, and requests for comments/review of the EIS. Dates, times, 
and locations for public meetings and other opportunities for public 
participation will be announced through the Long Bridge Project Web 
site (http://longbridgeproject.com/), mailings, public notices, 
advertisements, and press releases.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 19, 2016.
Felicia Young,
Acting Director, Office of Program Delivery.
[FR Doc. 2016-20481 Filed 8-25-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-06-P