In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mobility Authority) completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) for US 183 between SH 45 North and MoPac in Travis and Williamson counties in April 2016.
The project's Final EA, publicly available online, includes an analysis of a full range of alternatives (including a “no build” alternative) and an assessment of potential environmental impacts through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.
The Express Lanes Alternative best met the Purpose and Need of the project and was the Environmental Study's Preferred Alternative. It meets the Purpose and Need of the project by:
Using variable toll pricing in special lanes that are separated from the general-purpose lanes to keep traffic moving, even if adjacent lanes are congested, by increasing the toll when traffic is heavy and lowering the toll when traffic is light
Providing non-tolled, free-flowing, reliable routes and dependable travel times for public transit buses, registered vanpools and emergency vehicles
Facilitating reliable emergency response by allowing emergency vehicles to drive toll-free in the Express Lanes, so they can bypass congestion as quickly as possible
The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried-out by TxDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 16, 2014, and executed by FHWA and TxDOT.
Public involvement was a critical element of the environmental study process. Over the course of studying the 183 North Mobility Project, the team conducted open houses, published e-newsletters, visited neighborhood groups and other stakeholders and kept the media informed. The study team discussed various alternatives with the public and gathered feedback. This input was combined with technical analysis to identify the best options for meeting the project's purpose and need. Those options were subject to additional public review, and the Express Lanes Alternative was ultimately determined to be the study's Preferred Alternative, recommended by the Mobility Authority to TxDOT as described in the Final Environmental Assessment.
All formal public input received during the study was incorporated into the final environmental study document that is submitted to TxDOT and environmentally approved in April 2016.
Final Environmental Assessment
Read the details 183 North Mobility Project study's Environmental Assessment (EA) and the “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI).
Throughout the development of the 183 North project, the project team incorporated a comprehensive approach to design development known as Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS). The intent of this approach is to create a safe, efficient and environmentally responsible mobility corridor that is appropriate for its setting and speaks to the needs and values of the surrounding community.
What is CSS?
CSS is a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach involving stakeholders to develop transportation design and engineering solutions that fit within its surroundings.
The goals are to preserve and enhance scenic, aesthetic, historic, community and environmental resources, while improving transportation safety, mobility, and infrastructure.
During the project’s environmental phase, the Mobility Authority's project team surveyed attendees at the third 183 North Open House. After viewing a map diagram that illustrated where CSS opportunities may exist along the corridor, participants were asked to identify their preferences for five corridor aesthetic enhancement categories: Landscape, Hardscape, Water Quality, Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity, and Public Art. These preferences were incorporated into conceptual designs for key areas along the corridor.