RECORD OF DECISION FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION MONFAYETTE

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                                RECORD OF DECISION
                         FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
                             MON/FAYETTE EXPRESSWAY
                            PA ROUTE 51 TO I-376 PROJECT
                         ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
                                FHWA-PA-EIS-02-01-F
I. Decision
      The Selected Alternative for the Mon/Fayette Expressway, PA Route 51 to I-376 Project is the North
Shore Alternative with Options 1B, 2A, 4A/B and 5C. This alternative was identified as the Recommended
Preferred Alternative in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), and as the Preferred Alternative
in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The North Shore Alternative is proposed as a four-
lane, divided, limited access, tolled expressway originating at PA Route 51 at the completed Mon/Fayette
Expressway I-70 to PA Route 51 Project at Large, PA and continuing north to the Parkway East (I-376) at
Monroeville and west along the north shore of the Monongahela River to a connection with the Parkway
East (I-376) at Bates Street and Second Avenue (PA Route 885) in downtown Pittsburgh. The total length
of the North Shore Alternative is approximately 39 kilometers (24 miles). Full interchanges will be provided
at PA Route 51 in Jefferson Hills, Pittsburgh/McKeesport Boulevard in Dravosburg, PA Route 837 in
Duquesne, East Pittsburgh McKeesport Boulevard in North Versailles, the Parkway East (I-376) in
Monroeville, Sixth Street in Braddock, and Second Avenue (PA Route 885) at the Glenwood Bridge in
Pittsburgh. Half Interchanges will be provided in the vicinity of Thompson Run Road in Monroeville and
Wilkins, Business Route 22 in Monroeville, and the Parkway East (I-376) and Second Avenue (PA Route
885) in Pittsburgh. The Selected North Shore Alternative is shown in the FEIS on Figure 3-C-2 and
described in detail, including the treatment of side roads, in Chapter 3: Section C (Detailed Alternatives) of
the FEIS (pages 3-38 through 3-86). The North Shore Alternative Plates (NS-1 through NS-24D) in
Volume 3 of the FEIS show the engineering plans for the Selected Alternative in detail.

      The North Shore Alternative is the Selected Alternative based upon its ability to meet the identified
project needs; upon engineering parameters and environmental effects; upon public input (including low
income and minority populations), environmental resource agency input, testimony and comments received
at the three Public Hearings, the written comments received on the DEIS during the 101-day comment
period, and comments received on the FEIS during the 67-day review period; and for the following reasons:

            •   The North Shore Alternative will provide improved access to abandoned brownfield sites in
                Duquesne, Penn Hills, Rankin and Swissvale, and Hazelwood, which are still in early phases
                of redevelopment. This will meet the identified need to create transportation services
                capable of supporting economic redevelopment.

            •   The North Shore Alternative will improve direct access to the Duquesne City Center and
                Carrie Furnace brownfield redevelopment sites by adding access ramps from local roads
                into these sites, over active railroad lines. This will also meet the identified need to create
                transportation services capable of supporting economic redevelopment.

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            •   The North Shore Alternative will reduce travel times to medical facilities, education centers,
                and employment centers in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh by up to 53 percent
                over the No-Build Alternative. This will meet the identified project need of improving
                accessibility to social services and accessibility by emergency services as well as the identi-
                fied need to relieve existing and future roadway congestion.

            •   The North Shore Alternative will accommodate all riverfront trail projects currently pro-
                posed within the study area.

            •   The North Shore Alternative does not disproportionately adversely affect low income and/
                or minority populations.

            •   Elected officials from the 19 study corridor municipalities, as well as Allegheny County
                officials, overwhelmingly support the North Shore Alternative.

            •   Based on the written responses received from the March and April 2001 public meetings,
                those expressing a preference showed strong support for the North Shore Alternative.

            •   Of the 3039 comments and testimony received during the official DEIS comment period,
                2724 were in support of the project, and 139 were in opposition.

            •   Of the 171 comment letters received during the official FEIS comment period, 122 were in
                support of the project, and 19 were in opposition.

            •   Earthwork for the North Shore Alternative will be balanced. All excess fill material could be
                accommodated within the project right-of-way.

     The combination of Options 1B, 2A, 3, 4A/4B, and 5C was selected for the North Shore Alternative
because these options are the most effective at avoiding or minimizing environmental impacts; and therefore,
represent the environmentally preferred alternative. The environmental impacts associated with the Selected
Option Combination (North Shore Alternative) are identified in Chapter 5, Table 5-D-1 of the FEIS.

            •   In Section 1, Option 1B was selected since it will not require property acquisition from
                West Mifflin Community Park, while Option 1A required acquisition of 1.4 ha (3.5 ac) of
                this Section 4(f) resource.

            •   In Section 2, Option 2A was selected because it provides the best opportunity to relocate
                the displaced downtown Turtle Creek businesses, minimizes impacts to three historic
                churches, and was supported by residents over the other two options.

            •   In Section 3, there were no options under consideration in the detailed studies.

            •   In Section 4, since Options 4A and 4B will require essentially the same footprint of right-of-
                way acquisition, the ultimate decision will be made in final design after extensive geo-tech
                studies are completed and in consultation with the public, public officials and other appro-
                priate agencies.
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            •   In Section 5, Option 5C was selected since it minimizes harm to the Hazelwood Historic
                District and Hazelwood community, improves access to the former LTV Hazelwood
                Brownfield site, improves traffic flow to and from South Oakland via Bates Street, and was
                generally favored over the other options by the public at the neighborhood and public
                meetings.

      The project was developed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 40
CFR Parts 1500-1508, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations (23 CFR Part 771), 49
USC § 303, the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR Part 800), and other related federal
and state requirements. The project was developed in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of
Transportation’s (PennDOT) Transporation Project Development Process. A Draft EIS/Draft Section 4(f)
Evaluation was circulated for comment from May 31, 2002 through September 9, 2002 (101 days). Public
Hearings were held on July 16, 2002, July 23, 2002 and July 25, 2002. The Final EIS/Section 4(f) Evalua-
tion was circulated for review from January 30, 2004 to April 6, 2004 (67 days). Traffic projections used
for the FEIS traffic analysis were made by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) through their
“Cycle VI Forecasts of Population and Employment” in accordance with 23 CFR § 450. The SPC’s
modeling and forecasting process includes the use of the latest available socioeconomic and demographic
information from the U.S. Census and local development information. As part of the analysis conducted for
the FEIS, the MOEs for the North Shore Alternative were reevaluated in December 2002 using SPC’s
Cycle VI Forecast. The North Shore Alternative’s performance was equal or better for every MOE when
compared to the results reported in the Integrated CMS/MIS/PAA report; therefore, the findings of that
report continue to be valid today. The FEIS addressed all comments received during the official Draft EIS/
Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation comment period and all testimony given at the Public Hearings. Comments
received during the official Final EIS comment period are summarized in Section VI of this Record of
Decision (ROD) and are addressed in the Basis Report for the ROD.




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II. ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED
     Throughout the transportation planning and project development process, a wide range of alternatives
was considered using appropriate levels of environmental and engineering analysis between the logical
termini of PA Route 51 near Large, PA, and I-376 at Monroeville and Pittsburgh. The alternatives were
analyzed and advanced for more detailed study based on their ability to meet the identified needs, their
impact to the environment, and the input received from the public, elected officials, and environmental
resource agencies. Chapter 3 of the FEIS provides a detailed discussion of the alternatives development
and analysis process.

      The alternatives developed for the project included:

A. No-Build Alternative

     The No-Build Alternative is always considered in the process of environmental documentation to
provide a basis of comparison for the effects of proposed build alternatives. With the exception of routine
maintenance, resurfacing, spot improvements, and the proposed projects identified in the FEIS, Chapter 3:
Section B-5, the No-Build Alternative does not include any action to improve the transportation facilities in
the PA Route 51 to I-376 corridor. An evaluation of the No-Build Alternative indicated that it will not meet
the project needs.

B. Congestion Management System (CMS) Strategies Alternative

      The CMS analysis was performed to determine whether congestion management strategies, such as
improved transit or car-pooling, will eliminate the need for additional single occupancy vehicle capacity
within the study area. The Integrated Congestion Management System Analysis/Major Investment Study
and Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Final Report (PTC, 1996) concluded that the implementation of CMS
strategies alone will not fully satisfy the need for additional highway capacity in the PA Route 51 to I-376
study area. Because of this conclusion, a Major Investment Study was also undertaken to evaluate the
effectiveness of various alternative investments including single occupancy vehicle alternatives in meeting the
identified project needs.

C. Major Investment Study (MIS) Alternatives

      The MIS evaluates the ability of alternative transportation investments to attain local, state, and national
goals and objectives for a metropolitan area. The array of alternatives considered in the MIS included CMS
strategies, new light rail transit facilities, roadway upgrades/new roadways, and new toll road alternatives.
The evaluation of these MIS alternatives was based on their ability to meet identified project needs and
long-range regional goals, and environmental impacts.

     The New Light Rail Transit Facilities Alternative and Roadway Upgrade Alternatives 5, 6A and 6B
were determined not to meet the project needs, and therefore, were not carried into the detailed studies. Of
the new toll road alternatives, Alternative 1 will not meet the needs to reduce congestion and support
economic development. Alternatives 3 and 4, with a design concept of new roadway along both shores of
the Monongahela River, involved greater displacements, higher cost, substantially more disruption to
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riverfront communities, riverfront development, and river access than Alternative 2 with a design concept of
four lanes on one shore of the river. In addition, the public and resource agencies expressed concerns with
Alternatives 3 and 4. For all these reasons, Alternatives 1, 3, and 4 were not carried forward into the
detailed analyses.

      The Integrated Congestion Management System Analysis/Major Investment Study and Preliminary
Alternatives Analysis Final Report (PTC, 1996) concluded that MIS Alternative 2, a tolled expressway with
connections to PA Route 51 and I-376 at Pittsburgh and Monroeville, should be advanced for more de-
tailed study. The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) endorsed the conclusion of the Integrated
CMS/MIS/Preliminary Alternatives Analysis (PAA) through a resolution with the condition that tolled
expressway alternatives be considered along both shores of the Monongahela River from Duquesne to the
Glenwood Bridge.

D. New Toll Road Alternatives

      In order to more clearly define the MIS alternative to be studied in detail along the Monongahela River
from Duquesne to the Glenwood Bridge, an engineering and environmental impact study was initiated. Three
alternatives were considered: one along the north shore; one along the south shore; and a third one which
started on the north shore, crossed to the south shore, and then crossed back to the north shore. The
evaluation of these alternatives was presented to the resource agencies at the May 29, 1997 Special Agency
Coordination Meeting (SACM), to the local elected officials at a meeting on June 12, 1997, and to the
public at a plans display on June 25, 1997.

      Following these meetings, the alternative considered along the north shore of the Monongahela River,
with some refinements and consideration of public input, developed into the North Shore Alternative that
was studied in detail. After similar refinements and consideration of public input, the alternative considered
along the south shore of the river developed into the South Shore Alternative, which was also studied in
detail. The third alternative studied in this area, the alternative that crossed from the north shore to the south
shore and back, was dismissed from further detailed study after the analysis of its impacts, cost, and public
and agency input. This “cross-over” alternative will have impacts of extraordinary magnitude and was not
considered a reasonable alternative.

      A Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Reevaluation Report: Duquesne to Pittsburgh (PTC, 2001) was
prepared to assess and compare the North Shore and South Shore Alternatives between Duquesne and
Pittsburgh. The alternatives were reevaluated and assessed based on their ability to meet the project needs,
their environmental impacts, engineering issues, and input from the resource agencies, public officials, and
the general public. The analysis concluded that both the North Shore Alternative and South Shore Alterna-
tive should be advanced for further detailed study in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

     As the North Shore Alternative and South Shore Alternative were studied in greater detail, it became
necessary to divide the project into sections in order to more clearly present and evaluate the impacts of
various design options under consideration at certain locations along the alternatives. As a result, the PA
Route 51 to I-376 Project was studied in six sections numbered 1 through 6. The North Shore Alternative
is comprised of Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 and the South Shore Alternative is comprised of Sections 1, 2,
and 6. Each section, with the exception of Section 3, covers an area where two or more design options
were studied (Figures 3-C-1, 3-C-2, an 3-C-3 of the FEIS). Each option studied in detail within a section
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is identified with a two-digit alphanumeric designation, with the first digit being the number of the section
where it is located and the second digit being a letter representing that option. For example, Section 1 has
two options, labeled Option 1A and 1B. This allows each option to be evaluated in direct comparison to the
other option(s) in that section. The Preferred Alternative for the entire project, identified in Chapter 5 of the
FEIS, is presented as a combination of the preferred options in each section.

      Both the North Shore Alternative and the South Shore Alternative would begin at PA Route 51 near
Large, PA at the terminus of the Mon/Fayette Expressway I-70 to PA Route 51 Project and extend north to
the Monongahela River in Duquesne (Section 1). Both the North Shore Alternative and the South Shore
Alternative will then cross the river and extend north to a connection with I-376, near Monroeville (Section
2). After crossing the Monongahela River near Duquesne, the North Shore Alternative would extend
westward to Pittsburgh, parallel to the north shore of the river, to a connection with I-376 at Bates Street
and Second Avenue (Sections 3, 4, and 5). The South Shore Alternative would extend westward from
Duquesne to Pittsburgh, paralleling the south shore of the river, and crossing over to the north shore of the
river to connect to I-376 at Bates Street and Second Avenue (Section 6).

     It should be noted that both the North Shore Alternative and South Shore Alternative include several
design options at specific locations along their alignments. In Section 1, both the North Shore and South
Shore Alternatives include two design options (1A and 1B) in the vicinity of West Mifflin Park. There are
three design options (2A, 2B, and 2C) through Turtle Creek in Section 2 for both the North Shore and
South Shore Alternatives. The North Shore Alternative includes no design options in Section 3, two design
options (4A and 4B) in Section 4 and four design options (5A, 5B, 5C, and 5D) in Section 5. The South
Shore Alternative includes two design options (6A and 6B) in Section 6.

     Each of the New Toll Road Alternatives considered in detailed study would be a four-lane, limited
access expressway. The mainline typical section for these alternatives consists of two 3.6-meter (12-foot)
lanes in each direction, a 10.3-meter (34-foot) median, inside shoulders of 2.4-meters (8-feet), and outside
shoulders of 3.6-meters (12-feet). From the interchange with PA Route 51 at Large, north to the Pittsburgh
McKeesport Boulevard interchange, the median would be 18 meters (60 feet).

      Some of the major engineering considerations in the development of these alternatives included inter-
change locations and layouts, traffic volumes and movements, railroad relocations, impacts to the naviga-
tional channel of the Monongahela River, abandoned mines and geology, stormwater management, and road
and stream crossings. The engineering developed for each alternative provided the means of evaluating their
environmental impact, as well as their ability to improve efficient movement of goods and services, relieve
existing and future roadway congestion, improve vehicular and pedestrian safety, increase roadway linkages
between major highways, improve accessibility to social services and accessibility by emergency services,
and provide transportation services to support economic redevelopment.

      The environmental effects, including natural resources, cultural resources and socioeconomic resources
were evaluated for the North Shore Alternative, the South Shore Alternative, and the No-Build Alternative.
A summary of the environmental impacts by Section and Option are provided in the FEIS, Chapter 5, Table
5-B-1 and Table 5-B-2 for the North Shore Alternative and the South Shore Alternative, respectively. In
addition to the impacts presented in these tables, the following issues were also important in the evaluation
of the North Shore Alternative and the South Shore Alternative:

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      Major River Crossings - The North Shore Alternative would have only one crossing of the
Monongahela River, which would require the placement of two piers in the river. The South Shore Alterna-
tive would require two major river crossings, requiring 23 piers within the river. The two river crossings also
increase the construction costs associated with the South Shore Alternative.

      Environmental Justice - Because of the urban nature of the project area, Environmental Justice was
an important consideration in the analysis of impacts. An analysis of Environmental Justice was conducted in
accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and with EO 12898 signed February 11, 1994,
titled Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority and Low Income Populations; US DOT
Order No. 5610.2 To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Popula-
tions; and FHWA Order 6640.23, "Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and
Low-Income Populations."

      A complete analysis of identified Environmental Justice issues was presented in the FEIS. This analysis
evaluates the No-Build Alternative, North Shore Alternative, and South Shore Alternative for Environmental
Justice impacts and applies the same criterion to each. A total of 74 minority or low-income census block
groups (2000 US Census) were identified within the project study corridor.

      The Environmental Justice analysis included an extensive public outreach effort with neighborhood
meetings (a total of 27 held throughout the project area), community leader interviews (191 held), and
elected officials coordination (over 50 meetings held) that was used to shape alternatives and design op-
tions, identify and clarify actual and perceived impacts, and develop mitigation strategies. Coordination was
also undertaken with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as local chapters of
the NAACP, the Urban League, and the El Centro Hispanic and Latino Center.

     The Environmental Justice analysis concluded that when the positive and adverse impacts to minority
and/or low-income populations are weighed collectively along with the committed mitigation strategies, the
Selected Alternative (the North Shore Alternative) will not result in a disproportionately high and adverse
effect on any minority and/or low-income populations as per EO 12898.

     The public outreach process initiated during the environmental study phase of the project will continue
during final design. One element of this process will be the formation of Design Advisory Teams (DATs) at
specific locations along the project corridor. As described in the FEIS, the DATs would be established
during final design to provide recommendations to address such things as impacts to community cohesion
and visual resources. Specific examples of mitigation measures that would be addressed by the community
DATs include: traffic calming strategies, safe and ADA-accessible pedestrian walkways and underpasses,
regional trail system extensions, lighting, visual screening, landscaping, and other aesthetic treatments.

    Utility Relocations - Twenty-four different utility lines or providers would be affected by the pro-
posed project. Required relocation of utility lines or associated structures has been incorporated within the
proposed impact area shown in the FEIS, with two exceptions. These are the Kenmore public sewage
pumping facility in West Mifflin and the Pennsylvania American Water Company pumping station in Baldwin
Borough, both of which would only be affected by the South Shore Alternative.




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      Railroad Relocations - The North Shore Alternative would relocate portions of track from two
railroad companies (Union and CSX) and have crossings of one railroad company (Norfolk Southern),
while the South Shore Alternative would relocate track from three railroad companies (Union, CSX, and
Norfolk Southern). Because the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is not permitted to exercise its power
of eminent domain over railroad property, any relocation of track or right-of-way acquisition could only be
accomplished with the willing acceptance of the railroad company. Coordination with all three railroad
companies indicated that the proposed relocations and crossings for the North Shore Alternative would be
acceptable and that there would be no substantial changes to service resulting from its construction. How-
ever, Norfolk Southern has indicated that they would oppose the proposed relocation of their mainline
required by the South Shore Alternative. After coordination with Norfolk Southern (including detailed plan
reviews and field views) regarding the South Shore Alternative, they have stated that they are opposed to
any alternative that would impact their operations along the south shore of the Monongahela River.

     Construction Excavation Waste - All Class I excavation for the North Shore Alternative would be
used within the project, leaving no excess waste that would have to be disposed. All Class I excavation for
the South Shore Alternative could not be incorporated into the project, requiring the disposal of approxi-
mately 5.1 million cubic meters (6.7 million cubic yards) of excess excavation waste. Given the urban
conditions within the project area, identifying a site of sufficient size to dispose of this volume of material is
unlikely. Further, even if a local site were identified, transporting the material via truck - hauling 20 hours
per day, 7 days per week - would take more than three years to complete.

      Brownfield Redevelopment - Both alternatives would provide improved transportation access to
abandoned industrial, or brownfield, sites that are currently being redeveloped by providing expressway
interchanges nearby. However, there are distinct differences in the way each alternative would impact and
serve these sites. The North Shore Alternative would improve direct access to the Duquesne City Center
and Carrie Furnace brownfield redevelopment sites by adding access ramps from local roads over the
active railroad lines into these sites, and replacing the existing at-grade crossings where this is the only
current entrance. In addition, it would provide a partial interchange directly into the former LTV Hazelwood
brownfield site. The South Shore Alternative would also add an access ramp above active railroad lines
into the Duquesne City Center site, but would also acquire 4.3 ha (10.5 ac) of additional property from that
site in the process. Further, the South Shore Alternative would require the acquisition of 10.4 ha (25.8 ac)
of land from The Waterfront site and would displace the outdoor practice fields from the UPMC Sports
Performance Complex at the South Side Works brownfield redevelopment site in Pittsburgh; both of these
brownfield sites are nearing completion of their redevelopment.

     Trails - The North Shore Alternative would accommodate all riverfront trail projects currently pro-
posed within the study area by either avoidance or relocation. The South Shore Alternative would displace
4.3 km (2.7 mi) of proposed right-of-way from the Steel Valley Trail, which is currently being constructed
by the private non-profit Rivers of Steel Heritage Area as a central link in both local and interstate trail
networks, with no opportunity to replace or relocate this trail segment.

      Cost - The cost to construct the North Shore Alternative would be $1,886 million and the cost for the
South Shore Alternative would be $2,488 million, a cost differential of $602 million. This difference in cost
is primarily attributable to the differences in the number and configuration of major river crossings; the
required acquisition for the South Shore Alternative of the Pennsylvania American Water Company pumping

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station, UPMC Sports Performance Complex training fields at the South Side Works, Sandcastle water
park, and the Kenmore sewage pumping station in West Mifflin; the removal of waste material from the area
along East Carson Street (PA Route 837) for the South Shore Alternative; and construction of retaining
walls.

      Based upon the results of the detailed alternatives analysis, as presented in Chapter 4, Environmental
Consequences, of the FEIS, it was determined that the South Shore Alternative was not a reasonable
alternative that would merit further consideration.

     The specific reasons for this determination are:

            •   The South Shore Alternative would cost approximately $2,488 million to construct, over
                $602 million more in post-NEPA costs than the North Shore Alternative.

            •   The South Shore Alternative would displace the Pennsylvania American Water Company
                pumping station in Baldwin Borough, which supplies drinking water to over 130,000
                customers. This facility could not be relocated in close proximity to its current location,
                which would impact the distribution system to the nearby Hays Mine filtration plant. In
                addition, permit restrictions would limit the intake of water from any replacement facility to a
                level that may not be sufficient for the water company’s needs.

            •   The South Shore Alternative would require relocation of both the Norfolk Southern and
                CSX railroad mainlines. The Norfolk Southern Railroad has stated that they would oppose
                the South Shore Alternative because of this relocation. In addition, the South Shore Alterna-
                tive would eliminate CSX’s existing siding to the WHEMCO manufacturing facility in West
                Homestead.

            •   The South Shore Alternative would place 14 piers in the Monongahela River in the vicinity
                of the Union Railroad barge loading facility in Duquesne, which would restrict navigational
                access to the facility, particularly during high water periods.

            •   The South Shore Alternative would conflict with land use plans currently being implemented
                at The Waterfront and South Side Works sites, the two most advanced brownfield redevel-
                opment projects within the project area.

            •   The South Shore Alternative would displace nearly all of the commercial property and
                businesses in the Borough of Whitaker.

            •   The South Shore Alternative would displace 4.3 km (2.7 mi) of proposed right-of-way from
                the Steel Valley Trail, which is currently being constructed by the private nonprofit Rivers of
                Steel Heritage Area as a central link in both local and interstate trail networks, with no
                opportunity to replace this trail segment.




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            •   The South Shore Alternative would require approximately 26 million cubic meters (33
                million cubic yards) of Class I excavation, an additional cost of approximately $93 million
                over the North Shore Alternative.

            •   Construction of the South Shore Alternative would create an earthwork imbalance for the
                project, requiring off-site disposal of approximately 5.1 million cubic meters (6.7 million
                cubic yards) of waste fill.

E. Post-DEIS Alternatives

      One of the comments received during the official comment period for the DEIS incorporated a report
entitled The Citizens’ Plan: An Alternative to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s Plan to
Complete the Mon-Fayette Toll Road. This report, submitted by Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future
(PennFuture), proposed a multi-modal transportation concept in place of the alternatives already being
considered for the PA Route 51 to I-376 Project. This concept included a combination of roadway recon-
struction, new roadway construction, and transit extensions. Approximately 14 comments on the DEIS
supported this concept or asked that it be evaluated. In addition, the City of Pittsburgh Council passed a
resolution in December 2002 requesting a full evaluation of “The Citizens’ Plan”.

     The Citizens’ Plan was a variation of Alternative 5 from the Integrated CMS/MIS/PAA, which
included upgrades to many of the same roadways and the construction of new, untolled highways. The
major differences between The Citizens’ Plan and Alternative 5 were that Alternative 5 did not include
upgrades to PA Routes 51 and 837, and it also did not include transit improvements (transit improvements,
when evaluated separately in the Integrated CMS/MIS/PAA, were shown to have minimal effectiveness in
meeting the project needs and thus would have had little influence had they been added to Alternative 5).
The results of the Integrated CMS/MIS/PAA indicated that Alternative 5 would generally result in little
improvement over the No-Build Alternative and, therefore, would not meet the project needs.

      An evaluation of “The Citizens’ Plan” was subsequently undertaken, using methodology similar to
that employed for the Integrated CMS/MIS/PAA. Because “The Citizens’ Plan”, as submitted, did not
fully meet current design criteria nor take into account project traffic volumes, modifications were made by
the design team to provide sufficient capacity to accommodate projected roadway traffic volumes within
current engineering design criteria. As a result, an option called the “Modified Citizens’ Plan” was included in
the evaluation as well. An open house Public Meeting was held on March 12, 2003 to present the prelimi-
nary findings of this evaluation and to solicit public input on the two new alternatives.

      The authors of “The Citizens’ Plan” submitted a comment letter dated April 1, 2003. Due in part to
this and other public comments, and based on discussions with the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County,
a third new alternative was analyzed. The “Minimum Criteria Upgrade” used a minimum roadway cross-
section to evaluate displacements and costs for a combined transit/roadway upgrade/new roadway option,
while still meeting acceptable LOS D and current design standards on key project study area roadways.

     The analysis of “The Citizens’ Plan”, incorporating input received at the public meeting and through
subsequent coordination, was then completed and documented in “The Citizens’ Plan Evaluation” (PTC,


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2003). This evaluation reflects a multi-agency effort to provide a complete evaluation to the DEIS comment
letter proposing “The Citizens’ Plan” in place of the alternatives already being considered in the DEIS.

      “The Citizens’ Plan”, Modified Citizens’ Plan, and Minimum Criteria Upgrade were evaluated to
determine whether they were reasonable to be advanced for further detailed study. The determination of
their reasonableness was based upon an evaluation of their ability to meet the identified project needs based
on the measure of effectiveness (MOEs), their social, economic, and environmental impacts (particularly
displacements); their estimated costs; and the public input that was received on “The Citizens’ Plan” and
Modified Citizens’ Plan. Based upon the results of the evaluation described above, “The Citizens’ Plan”,
Modified Citizens’ Plan, and Minimum Criteria Upgrade were each determined not to be reasonable
alternatives for the PA Route 51 to I-376 Project. Therefore, no supplemental EIS was warranted based
on the analysis conducted.

      In accordance with 40 CFR 1502.2 (b), the North Shore Alternative is the environmentally preferable
alternative. The North Shore Alternative is the Selected Alternative because it meets the project needs
while balancing and minimizing impacts to the natural, social, and cultural environment.




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III. SECTION 4(f) RESOURCES
      The alternatives analysis contained in the Final Section 4(f) Evaluation considered:
(1) total avoidance alternatives, those alternatives which would avoid uses of all Section 4(f) resources; (2)
other alternatives, some of which were considered prior to detailed alternatives analysis and some of which
were studied in detail; and (3) shifts and design modifications to avoid or minimize Section 4(f) use of
individual Section 4(f) resources.

A. Total Section 4(f) Avoidance Alternatives

      Because of the abundance of Section 4(f) resources and prevalence of urban development within the
project area (Figures 4(f) – III-A-1 through 4(f) – III-A-3), it was not possible to develop a build alterna-
tive that would avoid the use of all Section 4(f) resources. For this reason, the No-Build Alternative was the
only total Section 4(f) Avoidance Alternative. The No-Build Alternative will not meet the project needs, and
therefore, is not prudent.

B. Other Alternatives Considered

     During the integrated CMS/MIS/PAA conducted for this project, the following alternatives were
considered (Final Section 4(f) Evaluation – Pages 4(f) – 21 though 4(f) – 37):

            •   CMS Strategies Alternative

            •   New LRT Facilities Alternative

            •   Corridor 1 Alternative – Tolled Expressway with Swissvale Connection

            •   Corridor 2 Alternative – Tolled Expressway with Monroeville Connection

            •   Corridor 3 Alternative – Split Tolled Expressway to Glassport with Monroeville Connection

            •   Corridor 4 Alternative – Split Tolled Expressway to Duquesne with Monroeville Connection

            •   Corridor 5 Alternative – Combination of Non-Tolled New Roadways and Widening of
                Non-Tolled Existing Roadways

            •   Corridor Alternative 6A – Widening of Non-Tolled Existing Roadways to Four Lanes
                (Widen PA51 to Seven Lanes)

            •   Corridor Alternative 6B – Widening of Non-Tolled Existing Roadways to Four Lanes
                (Work on PA Route 51 Limited to New Interchanges)




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     The CMS Strategies Alternative, New LRT Facilities Alternative, Corridor 1 Alternative, Corridor 5
Alternative, Corridor 6A Alternative and Corridor 6B Alternative did not meet the project needs and,
therefore, were not prudent. The Corridor 3 and Corridor 4 Alternatives were determined to result in
impacts of an extraordinary magnitude, and therefore, also were not prudent.

      As documented in the “Integrated CMS/MIS and PAA” Report (PTC, December 1996), the Corri-
dor 2 Alternative was carried forward for detailed alternatives development with the condition that alterna-
tives be developed along both the north and south sides of the Monongahela River from the City of
Duquesne to the Glenwood Bridge. As a result, the North Shore Alternative, the South Shore Alternative,
and a third alternative that started on the north shore, crossed to the south shore and then crossed back to
the north shore, were developed. Due to impacts of an extraordinary magnitude, the alternative that
crossed back and forth over the Monongahela River was determined not to be prudent.

     The North Shore Alternative and the South Shore Alternative were carried into detailed studies. The
conclusion of the detailed studies showed that the South Shore Alternative would result in impacts of an
extraordinary magnitude and truly unique problems, (Final Section 4(f) Evaluation Pages 4(f) – 36 and 4(f)
– 37) rendering the South Shore Alternative not feasible and prudent.

C. Shifts and Design Modifications to Avoid or Minimize Section 4(f)
Uses

     For each Section 4(f) resource used by the North Shore Alternative and any of its options, shifts to
avoid or minimize harm were considered. Where avoidance shifts were not found to be feasible and
prudent, mitigation measures to minimize harm were identified.

            •   North Shore Alternative, Section 1 – The North Shore Alternative would use property
                from three public parks and one NRHP-eligible historic property in Section 1. Option 1B
                would avoid use of the West Mifflin Community Park. No feasible and prudent alternatives
                were found to avoid use of Fleetwood Drive Playground, Riverview Community Park and
                the Duquesne Works.

            •   North Shore Alternative, Section 2 – The North Shore Alternative would use property
                from two NRHP-eligible historic properties in Section 2. No feasible and prudent alterna-
                tives were found to avoid use of the J. Edgar Thomson Works and the Union Railroad.

            •   North Shore Alternative, Section 3-4-5 – The North Shore Alternative would use
                property from eight NRHP-eligible historic properties and five public parks/recreation areas
                in Section 3-4-5. Avoidance shifts examined for these resources were found either to not
                be feasible and prudent, or to result in more harm to Section 4(f) resources. Section 4(f)
                resources used in Section 3-4-5 include the Fanny Handel House, Robinson Street Row
                Houses, Clawson Houses, B&O Railroad, Hazelwood Historic District, Barker Property,
                D.L. Thomas Dry Goods, Pittsburgh Works of the J&L Steel Corporation, Frick Park
                Extension, Glenwood Play Area, Elizabeth Street Tot Lot, Eliza Furnace Trail, and Frazier
                Playground.


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      The detailed analysis of avoidance/minimization shifts, incorporation of mitigation measures, and
assessment of least harm is described in detail on Pages 4(f) – 38 through 4(f) – 223 of the Final Section
4(f) Evaluation. This analysis concluded that there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the use of
Section 4(f) Resources for this project and that the North Shore Alternative with Options 1B, 2A, 4A/B,
and 5C incorporates all possible planning to minimize harm to the Section 4(f) resources and is the least
harm alternative.

      Copies of the DEIS/Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation, FEIS/Final Section 4(f) Evaluation, and Section 4(f)
Addendum (prepared to address individually eligible resources within the former Braddock Historic District)
were provided to the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI). The Final Section 4(f) Addendum concluded
there were no feasible and prudent alternatives to avoid the Fanny Handel House and Robinson Street Row
Houses. The DOI provided comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement in correspondence
dated December 20, 2002; however, no comments were received on the Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation, or
the FEIS/Final Section 4(f) Evaluation. In correspondence dated October 6, 2004, the DOI provided
comments on the Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation Addendum and concurred that there is no prudent and
feasible alternative to the “use” of Section 4(f) resources for the project. The Final Section 4(f) Addendum
is included as Appendix B of this ROD.




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IV. MEASURES TO MINIMIZE HARM
      During the Transportation Project Development Process, refinements were made to the various
alternatives to avoid or minimize impacts to sensitive environmental resources where possible. These
refinements were reviewed by the regulatory and review agencies at the Special Agency Coordination
Meetings (SACM) held frequently during this project. When appropriate, design refinements were dis-
cussed with the public and public officials through Public Meetings and other special group meetings.

      All practicable measures to minimize harm are incorporated in the project design. A final design
management consultant retained by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will ensure that commitments
made in the FEIS and this ROD are included in the final design plans. To assist in this ensurance, the
Mitigation Commitment Tracking System included in the ROD Basis Report, or a refined version of the
chart, will be utilized. Design refinements will also be reviewed for environmental sensitivity. Periodic
presentations will be made during final design at the SACM to obtain further input from the resource agen-
cies. The final design management consultant will also ensure that all required environmental permits are
obtained and permit conditions are incorporated into the construction contract documents.

      Specific mitigation commitments are made in the FEIS, Chapter 4 (Environmental Consequences) and
in this ROD as summarized below:

            •   Upgrades to existing roads, as outlined in Tables 4-B-16 through 4-B-18 of the FEIS, will
                be completed as part of this project.

            •   Mitigation for community specific impacts to Land Use, Community Facilities and Services,
                Displacements, Community Cohesion, and Local and Regional Economy and are detailed in
                Chapter 4 of the FEIS.

            •   All property acquisitions will be conducted in accordance with the Uniform Relocation
                Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, Title VI of the
                Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code of 1964. Where
                displaced properties were originally acquired using Project 70 funds, the acquisition would
                be conducted in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural
                Resources requirements. Any individual or family displaced by the project will be offered
                the full extent of benefits and payments. In addition, provisions will be made to assure that
                any person with a disability who is displaced is offered replacement housing that meets any
                special needs. During final design, the project team will work with affected property
                owners to avoid or minimize property impacts to the extent possible. This effort will include
                community services such as family physicians, food stores, and municipal services.

            •   Design Advisory Teams (DATs) will be established during final design to provide recom-
                mendations to address such things as impacts to community cohesion, visual resources, and
                noise. Specific examples of mitigation measures that would be addressed by the community
                DATs include but are not limited to: traffic calming strategies, safe and ADA-accessible
                pedestrian walkways and underpasses, regional trail system extensions, lighting, visual
                screening, landscaping, and other aesthetic treatments.

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            •   Detailed Erosion and Sedimentation (E&S) Plans will be prepared during final design in
                accordance with guidelines provided by the PA Department of Environmental Protection
                (PADEP) and PennDOT Design Manual, Part 2, Highway Design.

            •   Geo-technical investigations will be conducted during final design to determine soil and
                bedrock characteristics. These will then be evaluated for construction suitability. Designs
                will be modified as necessary to ensure stability of the highway and cut slopes.

            •   Controlled blasting, to protect properties and structures, will be done in accordance with
                PennDOT Publication 408. If blasting is required, pre-blast and post-blast surveys would
                be conducted on structures in the vicinity. Coordination meetings would be held with
                municipal officials and property owners in the vicinity to explain the blasting process, the
                proposed blasting schedule, and their opportunities to have a pre-blast survey performed.

            •   If private water wells are impacted, the wells will be replaced, redrilled to another water
                producing one, or public water will be provided if available.

            •   In regards to acid-producing material, measures to avoid or mitigate impacts are listed on
                Page 4-283 of the FEIS and will be implemented, as appropriate, during construction.

            •   The location of all producing natural gas wells and distribution lines within the proposed
                right-of-way will be identified by field survey during pre-final design. Distribution lines will
                be relocated where necessary and producing wells will be plugged and abandoned, where
                appropriate. Where economically feasible, new access will be provided where the project
                severs existing roadways serving remaining wells.

            •   Measures to avoid or minimize surface water resources will incorporate consideration of all
                strategies listed on pages 4-313 through 4-316 of the FEIS.

            •   Detailed hydrologic and hydraulic analyses will be conducted during final design to deter-
                mine if structure and associated pier placement would increase the base flood elevation as
                per 23 CFR Parts 650.115 and 117 to ensure that these facilities will be of sufficient capac-
                ity to accommodate the design year storm.

            •   The structures carrying the Selected Alternative over streams within the corridor will be
                designed to avoid increases in the design year flood elevation. Abutments and piers will be
                placed so as to avoid or minimize encroachment on the 100-year floodplain.

            •   During final design and prior to construction, permitting procedures will be instituted in
                accordance with PADEP Chapter 105, Dam Safety and Waterway Management, Rules and
                Regulations and the Floodplain Management Act, P.L. 851, No. 166 administered by the
                PADEP.




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            •   All construction within the floodplains will be in compliance with Executive Order 11988,
                Floodplain Management, dated May 24, 1977; Federal Emergency Management Agency
                (FEMA) regulations; and Federal, State, and local regulations. Additionally, hydraulic
                calculations will be conducted during final design. If it is determined that the project will
                modify the contour of the floodplain or increase the Base Flood Elevation (BSE) cumula-
                tively by 1 foot or more, a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) will be applied
                for through FEMA.

            •   All practicable attempts will be made to avoid wetlands as a result of construction, tempo-
                rary roads, staging areas, and stormwater management areas. Wetland mitigation sites will
                be identified through coordination with PADEP, US Army Corps of Engineers (US ACOE),
                and US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Care will be taken in the selection of
                wetland compensation sites to ensure their longevity and ecological benefits to the water-
                shed. Wetland replacement areas will be constructed to satisfy the following replacement
                rations: 1 to 1 for impacted emergent wetlands; 1.5 to 1 for impacted scrub/shrub wet-
                lands; and 2 to 1 for impacted forested wetlands. The USACOE and USEPA are cooper-
                ating agencies in this joint FEIS/Final Section 4(f) Evaluation/Section 404 Permit Applica-
                tion.

            •   Mitigation for terrestrial habitat will be completed in accordance with the Preliminary
                Natural Resource Mitigation Plan for this project.

            •   A Preliminary Natural Resource Mitigation Evaluation (PTC, 2003) has been com-
                pleted and includes proposed mitigation strategies for potential impacts to threatened or
                endangered species within the project area, including:

                     •   Mitigation for any potential impacts to the skipjack herring, the mooneye, the
                         longnose gar, the warmouth, and the river redhorse from the North Shore Alterna-
                         tive would include habitat replacement and limiting the area of in-stream construc-
                         tion. Coordination with PFBC will continue through final design regarding these
                         impacts and mitigation strategies.

                     •   As a result of the mine openings survey, no impacts to hibernacula of the federally
                         endangered Indiana bat species are anticipated. However, because these bats use
                         trees as roosting and foraging sites during the summer months, mist netting would be
                         conducted during final design to determine their presence in forested areas. Should
                         mist netting return positive results for the presence of Indiana bats, further coordina-
                         tion would be conducted with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regarding
                         seasonal timber restrictions.

                     •   An additional botanical survey of the plant populations will be conducted during final
                         design. If, after the survey is completed, impacts are anticipated, the mitigation
                         strategies outlined in the FEIS will be implemented.




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            •   Mitigation commitments for anticipated impacts to archaeological and historic resources are
                documented in an executed Programmatic Agreement (PA ) between the Pennsylvania State
                Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) and the FHWA, and concurred upon by Feder-
                ally-Recognized Native American Tribes with religious or cultural interest, PennDOT, and
                the PTC. A copy of the PA is attached to this ROD as Appendix A.

            •   During final design, the noise analysis will be re-examined to confirm whether or not there
                are warranted, feasible and reasonable noise abatement measures that will substantially
                reduce or eliminate noise impacts. If warranted, feasible and reasonable, noise abatement
                measures will be incorporated into the project design plans.

            •   During construction, fugitive dust emissions will be controlled according to 25 Pa Code
                §123.1, 123.2, 123.41, and PennDOT Publication 408/2003.

            •   During final design, a Waste Management Plan will be developed in coordination with
                PADEP.

            •   To the extent possible, FHWA, PennDOT, and the PTC will provide information to the
                resource agencies, municipalities, Allegheny County, and any private developers to coordi-
                nate planning and developments, which may occur concurrent with the proposed project.

            •   In conjunction with Section 9 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (as amended), the
                General Bridge Act of 1946, and the US Department of Transportation Act of 1966, a US
                Coast Guard (USCG) Bridge Permit will be required for the North Shore Alternative’s new
                river crossing over the Monongahela River. The preliminary engineering of all structures has
                incorporated pier placements that avoid direct impacts to the shipping channel established
                by the USACOE. Coordination has also been conducted with the USCG, a cooperating
                agency, regarding the type, size, and location of all proposed pier placements. This coordi-
                nation would continue throughout final design of the proposed the Monongahela River
                crossing(s). Additional coordination with the USACOE and USCG would also take place
                to provide a margin of safety for affected watercraft during construction. To minimize the
                potential safety hazard presented by placing structures in the river, the use of red warning
                lights on the upstream and downstream sides of piers adjacent to the navigational channel as
                well as green lights on the underside center portion of the bridge would be required.

            •   In accordance with Executive Order 13112 Invasive Species, measures will be taken to
                prevent the introduction and spread of invasive vegetation and wildlife species. Specific
                commitments to control invasive plant species will be developed during final design. Reveg-
                etating after construction would be done with native plant species where reasonable.

    All mitigation commitments from the FEIS and this ROD will be consolidated into a single Mitigation
Report in accordance with PennDOT’s Transportation Project Development Process. This report will be
made available to final design consultants and agency officials, and will be used as a tool by the final design
management consultant to ensure commitments are fulfilled.


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V.      MONITORING OR ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM
      FHWA, PennDOT, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission have committed to monitor final design
development and construction of this project to ensure that all mitigation commitments made in the FEIS,
this ROD and permit conditions are implemented. Appropriate periodic briefings will be offered for envi-
ronmental resource agency representatives (United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States
Army Corps of Engineers, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, US Coast Guard, Pennsylvania Depart-
ment of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Game Commis-
sion, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture) to
monitor the progress of final design and construction and to refine the ongoing efforts to minimize the
project’s impacts. These efforts will include consideration of displacements and community impacts, effects
on cultural resources, wetlands impact minimization and mitigation, stream relocation, stormwater manage-
ment design, noise abatement, and visual impacts. A final design management firm will assist in the environ-
mental monitoring effort. A construction management firm will be selected to continue the environmental
monitoring when the project reaches the construction phase.

     Design Advisory Teams (DAT) will be established during final design in the following communities:

            •   Dravosburg

            •   Turtle Creek

            •   Braddock, Rankin and Swissvale

            •   Nine Mile Run (including Duck Hollow)

            •   Glenwood to Bates Street (including Hazelwood and South Oakland)

     Each DAT will serve to meet the goals of identifying valued community characteristics, defining com-
munity-based goals and guidelines for the final design team, and working with the Section Designers to co-
develop appropriate concepts and designs that enhance and preserve the natural, built, social, and cultural
environments of the community according to the project design goals, guidelines, regulatory constraints and
mitigation commitments. Through a consensus building process, the DAT members and Section Designers,
supported by the DAT Facilitator, and Final Design Management Team, will develop final design recommen-
dations, and review and comment on plans for design elements. It is anticipated that the majority of recom-
mendations will be collected at the DAT meetings. Where necessary, recommendations will be elevated to
the Project Leadership Team (FHWA, PennDOT, and PTC with advice from Allegheny County and the
City of Pittsburgh) for a final determination on mitigation features and enhancements to be advanced.

      The DAT membership may include, but is not limited to, city and municipal officials, county planning
officials, citizens owning affected properties, and a representative from the Consulting Parties, representing
historic preservation interests who have been formally invited by FHWA to participate in the consultation of
the project.



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VI. COMMENTS ON THE FINAL EIS
     The Notice of Availability of the FEIS was published in the Federal Register and local newspapers on
January 30, 2004. The 67-day review period officially closed on April 6, 2004. The minimum required
review period is 30 days.

      Comments were received in several different formats, including individual letters, form letters, petitions,
written testimony, and resolutions. Comments were received from federal, state, county, and local agencies;
federal, state, county, and local governments; organizations and coalitions; businesses and industries; private
citizens; and others.

    Following the end of the comment period, all testimony and comments were reviewed. Only com-
ments that are substantive and require written responses are included in this ROD.

     The matrix beginning on page R-3 of Volume 1 of the Record of Decision Basis Report provides a
breakdown of all 168 comments received. Copies of all comments and testimony can be found in the
project Technical Support Data.

     The substantive issues identified in the comments that required responses were classified into the 32
categories listed in Table R-2 of the Record of Decision Basis Report.

     Also included in the Record of Decision Basis Report are comments that were received before the
comment period began on January 30, 2004 and after the comment period ended on April 6, 2004. These
comments are listed in the table on page R-480 (original letters can be found in the Technical Support Data)
and the table on page R-481 (letters included) of the Record of Decision Basis Report, respectively. These
comments were considered but because they were not received during the official comment period, re-
sponses were not developed.

      All comment letters received on the FEIS and responses to each issue are contained in the Record of
Decision Basis Report prepared in support of the Record of Decision. This report is available upon written
request from any of the following: Mr. David P. Willis of the PTC Central Office, Turnpike Administration
Building, P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676; Ms. Patricia Remy of the Pennsylvania Depart-
ment of Transportation, District 11-0, 45 Thomas Run Road, Bridgeville, PA 15017-2853; and Ms. Karyn
E. Vandervoort of the Federal Highway Administration, Pennsylvania Division Office, 228 Walnut Street, 5th
floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101-1720. This Record of Decision will be distributed to all those who provided
substantive comments on the FEIS.




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Mon/Fayette Transportation Project PA Route 51 to I-376   Record of Decision