FDOT is currently working with the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to determine the preferred alternative for improving our interstate system. In its planning phase, this process serves as a community conversation and planning effort on the future of our region’s interstate system and how it integrates with multimodal choices under development across our region.
NEPA requires agencies that receive Federal funding assistance to prepare an environmental impact statements (EIS) for major actions that significantly affect the quality of the human environment. An EIS is a full disclosure document that details the process through which a transportation project was developed, includes consideration of a range of reasonable alternatives, analyzes the potential impacts resulting from the alternatives, and demonstrates compliance with other applicable environmental laws and executive orders. The study is a supplement to the1996 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and the Records of Decision (ROD) that FHWA issued in 1997 and 1999. This EIS process is the most rigorous evaluation we can do in transportation planning. FDOT and FHWA are scheduled to complete the SEIS in the Fall of 2019. The SEIS will focus on the Downtown and Westshore Area interchanges and the section of I-275 between those areas. The SEIS is a fresh look at the long-standing plan to improve and modernize Tampa’s interstate system, originally called the Tampa Interstate Study.
The analysis for the SEIS will use the most current demographic, economic, and transportation data and design plans to evaluate environmental and social impacts to communities, including impacts such as noise, air quality, socioeconomic and environmental justice issues. The SEIS will include an alternatives analysis and mitigation strategy development where impacts are unavoidable.
FDOT will hold public meetings related to the analysis of impacts of the Downtown and Westshore sections of interstate improvements. FDOT is committed to open and transparent dialogue with the community throughout the process. We welcome your comments and participation.