Notice of Public Comment Period and Determination of Nonsignificance for Skagit 2040 Regional Transportation Plan

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Notice is hereby given that on January 20, 2016 the Skagit Council of Governments (SCOG) released the Skagit 2040 Regional Transportation Plan (Plan) for public comment. SCOG, as the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) lead agency for this nonproject action, has determined it will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment and has therefore issued a Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS) for the Plan pursuant to Chapter 197-11 of the Washington Administrative Code. The DNS was made after a review of the SEPA Environmental Checklist for the Plan along with other information on file with SCOG.

Comments on the Plan or the DNS may be mailed to Skagit Council of Governments, c/o Mark Hamilton, 204 West Montgomery Street, Mount Vernon, WA 98273 or emailed to markh@scog.net. Comments on the Plan or the DNS must be submitted in writing and received by SCOG no later than February 8, 2016. All timely comments on the Plan or the DNS will be considered.

Electronic copies of the Plan, SEPA Environmental Checklist and DNS, and other Plan-related materials are available here:

Draft Skagit 2040 Regional Transportation Plan

Appendices for Draft Skagit 2040 Regional Transportation Plan

SEPA Environmental Checklist

SEPA Determination of Nonsignificance

Papers copies of these documents are available at no charge from the address above, during normal business hours.

Skagit Rail Crossing Study

SCOG has finalized the Skagit Rail Crossing Study. The study analyzes all at-grade railroad crossings within Skagit County and identifies potential mitigation strategies to address the crossings that are the most impacted from future railroad and roadway growth.Burlington Blvd

In 2040, it is estimated that railroad traffic on the BNSF mainline will grow by around 40 daily rail crossing events at selected crossings. Some crossings within Skagit County are expected to be closed due to railroad traffic for an additional hour and forty-five minutes per day on top of the current daily gate-down times. The growth in railroad traffic will increase roadway congestion and impact emergency services’ ability to quickly respond to emergencies.

Given these forecasts, it is important for the region to identify the most effective strategies to mitigate their impact. The study identifies a variety of strategies—from Intelligent Transportation Systems to grade-separated bridges and tunnels—to reduce the impacts of future railroad and roadway traffic. However, many of these strategies are expensive and will take years of careful planning to identify, design, and fund the best solutions.

The Skagit Rail Crossing Study has been used to inform Skagit 2040, the regional transportation plan for the Skagit region.

January 2016 Regional Transportation Improvement Program Amendment

SCOG has received a request to amend the 2015-2020 Regional Transportation Improvement Program. The public is encouraged to review the proposed amendment and submit any written comments to Gabe Philips by noon on Wednesday, January 13, 2016. Written comments will be included in the information packet distributed to Transportation Policy Board members prior to their January 20, 2016 meeting. The public will also have the opportunity to comment at the Transportation Policy Board meeting, but written comments are preferred.

This public notice of public involvement activities and time established for public review and comments on the TIP development process will satisfy the FTA’s Program of Projects requirements.

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