Sunday, September 27, 2009

TTC-35 Final Environmental Impact Statement STILL not released

The TTC-35 nvironmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which is expected to show that SH 130 will be the Corridor route through Williamson County, was due out in 2007. Now, in the last quarter of 2009, there is still no FEIS.

The Hillsboro Reporter noted in August that John A. Barton, TxDOT assistant executive director in charge of engineering operations, said that a ruling on the FEIS by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) “is expected by the end of the year, but there has been no decision on what to do with the study if it is approved,” because “the corridor system proposed by Governor Rick Perry fell by the wayside following political pressure from rural Texas residents.”

Standing Ground, published by Dan and Margaret Byfield, reports that the Eastern Central Texas Sub-Regional Planning Commission has filed a petition with the FHWA requesting that the study be rejected because “time has expired for [TxDOT] to complete the study under the Texas Administrative Code, the Texas Legislature denied authorization for CDA’s [the funding mechanism] for the TTC, and the entire project has changed significantly, making the current TTC environmental study obsolete.”

The Commission is awaiting a response from the FHWA, while preparing for the next step. The DEIS did not address some issues that should have been addressed, which can be challenged in a court of law. The Byfields conclude that “the once fast-tracked project is now at a standstill as TxDOT and the FHWA determine which direction to head, given the illegalities of the environmental study.”

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