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Burlington receives federal environmental approval for Champlain Parkway
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Burlington receives federal environmental approval for Champlain Parkway

Burlington gets federal environmental approval for the Champlain Parkway

Burlington Department of Public Works Map. The Home Avenue to Lakeside section construction project (BLUE), is scheduled to start this year.

Vermont Business MagazineToday, Mayor Miro Weinberger of Burlington and the City of Burlington Department of Public Works made it clear that the Federal Highway Administration issued a Record of Decision (ROD), for Champlain Parkway Project on January 20, 2022. The ROD signifies the end of the National Environmental Policy Act process for environmental clearance. The ROD is specifically an approval of the Preferred Alternative to this project that provides access between I-189, US Route 7 Shelburne Street and the City Center District in Burlington.Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, (FSEIS),For the project.

Since the 1970s, various versions of a South End bypass plan have been in development. The Superfund designation for the barge canal site led to significant re-routing and opposition from neighbors. Pine Street is already congested.

The City stated last September: “As of the date of this letter (September 13, 2021) the totalFederal/State/Local taxpayer funding spent on all efforts associated with thisproject through September 3, 2021, is over $45 million. The construction costs of the project are currently estimated to be approximately $37million.

Construction of the Home Avenue to Lakeside section (BLUE), is scheduled to begin in this year.

The Record of Decision allows work on the project to continue, bringing the City closer towards improving traffic circulation, relieving overburdened roads, and improving pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular safety in Southwest Section of the City.

Mayor Weinberger said that the issuance of the Record of Decision is a significant project milestone and another major step towards completing this multi-decade effort in South End to improve South End transportation options, safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. It is now that this project can be built, delivered to the Burlington area, and demonstrated that our systems for building new infrastructure still work. We are grateful to our federal and state partners for listening to local concerns. The ROD supports a phased construction project. This critical change gives the City an enhanced ability to coordinate with other work and addresses neighborhood concerns. I am grateful for the City team of dedicated workers and consultants, headed by Director Chapin, and City Engineer Norm, who have brought us to the cusp of construction through a decade worth of skilled, responsive and persistent effort.

Although the ROD is the last step in the environmental clearance process, and results in a Selected Alternative (or a Final Step), future changes and refinements could still occur.

The ROD can also be accessed digitally on theWebsite for the project. The ROD can be obtained in paper form at Burlington City Hall, Burlington Department of Public Works or at the Fletcher Free Library.

Burlington plans on announcing the bid for Champlain Parkway Project in February after the ROD is issued. The City hopes to announce the award in March or April and to start construction in the summer 2022.

The City has split the Champlain Parkway construction into two phases and is coordinating work with other projects in South End through the South End Construction Coordination Plan. This is in response to community concerns over the past several years. This plan will minimize the impact on the community during construction and should eliminate the time gap between the Champlain Parkway’s construction and the start of the Railyard Enterprise Project. According to the plan, the initial phase for the Champlain Parkway will be completed in fall 2024.

After the completion the first phase of construction is completed, the project benefits will include:

  • A new 25-mph grid streetThis will improve connectivity and resilience of the South End street system by connecting Home Avenue to Lakeside Avenue
  • A new stormwater filter and stormwater pondIt will take 11.5 acres from the combined sewer system, and reduce 6,344 Lbs (more than 3 tons) of sediment that is being discharged into Lake Champlain every year.
  • New shared use pathsTwo miles of continuous off-road bike/pedestrian trail from the intersection of Pine Street and Locust Street to Queen City Park Road in South Burlington.
  • Improvements to intersectionsPine Street and Kilburn Street; Pine Street, Marble Avenue, and Pine Street, Howard Street
  • A new crosswalk in the middle blockPine Street and Arts Riot
  • An enhanced Pine StreetNew granite curbs, reconstructed sidewalk on the eastern side with ADA-compliant access ramps and new top pavement layer.
  • Underground utilities on Lakeside AvenueBetween Pine Street & the new Champlain Parkway

Source: 1.21.2022. Burlington.Office Mayor Miro Weinberger

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