Why is the Route 22A corridor being studied?

The Vergennes PEL Study will evaluate transportation alternatives that reduce large truck traffic on VT Route 22A and their associated impacts in Downtown Vergennes, while seeking ways to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality for residents in the City and surrounding towns.

Why is another study being done for the Route 22A corridor?

Over the last 20 years, the Route 22A corridor has had several studies looking at alternatives that reduce large truck traffic and their associated impacts in Downtown Vergennes.  Several of the alternatives being discussed are large enough that they will need federal funds for implementation.  In order to pursue federal funding, we need to complete more in-depth analysis of all alternative options and actively engage a wider range of organizations and people in the area while evaluating options.  

Key findings from the following previous study efforts will be incorporated to the Vergennes PEL Study: 

What is a PEL study?

Created by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) study is a high-level, planning study process. PEL studies identify transportation issues, priorities, environmental concerns, and economic goals to inform the environmental review process, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), project development, design, and construction.

For more information, please see the Planning and Environmental Linkages section of this site.

What does NEPA stand for?

NEPA stands for the National Environmental Policy Act, which became law in 1970. NEPA requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. Using the NEPA process, agencies evaluate the environmental and related social and economic effects of their proposed actions. Agencies also provide opportunities for public review and comment on those evaluations.

What is a Purpose and Need Statement?

A Purpose and Need Statement is required to be included in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The statement provides clear supporting facts or data that explain the need for the project and outlines unsatisfactory conditions that the project would address. It is a statement that outlines a transportation problem, not a specific solution, and is supported by robust public outreach.

What is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)?

An EIS provides a detailed analysis of potential impacts that could affect quality of life or changes to the environment as a result of any proposed federal project, whether the impacts be aesthetic, historic, cultural, economic, or social.

PEL studies result in useful information that can be carried forward into the NEPA process of environmental review. The adoption and use of a PEL study in the NEPA process is subject to determination by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Why will the study take 3 years to complete?

The schedule is an approximate timeline that involves various tasks to identify alternatives for the Route 22A corridor that consider efficiency, safety, quality of life, and economic vitality. For that to happen, many stakeholders are involved. The public is involved in a collaborative process that includes focus group meetings, workshops, land use visioning, newsletters, a website and public meetings. From this process, input is gathered about how the project will impact the social, cultural and community resources in the area. Taking the time to build regional consensus will result in a decision-making process that encourages working relationships between local government, agencies and transportation departments to get a future project done more efficiently.