Understanding an EIS
Before any new transportation capacity can be added to US 281, the federal government requires an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be completed. An EIS assists decision makers by detailing proposed alternatives and evaluating the degree to which the proposals affect public health, safety and the environment.
You may recall that an environmental assessment was already performed for US 281. However, this was withdrawn in 2008, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) mandated that a more extensive EIS be completed. This EIS involves a more comprehensive process to address short and long-term concerns related to the complex natural and human environment that coexists in this area.
The EIS process requires the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA) to consider all reasonable transportation improvement alternatives (additional lanes, overpasses, transit, etc.) along US 281 from Loop 1604 to Borgfeld Road. It also presents an opportunity for the community to help identify and develop alternatives the Alamo RMA can evaluate.
It is the Alamo RMA’s goal to ensure that every concern, idea, suggestion and voice be heard as the EIS process moves forward.
The Alamo RMA will hold four public meetings and one public hearing to correspond with milestones in the EIS process. These will be opportunities for you to learn about and comment on each part of the EIS.
For example, if you think “overpasses only” is the best solution for US 281, you may provide a detailed comment at the meeting (or during the ten-day comment period), and it will become part of the official EIS record and be considered as the various alternatives are being evaluated.
While comments are welcomed anytime during the process, to be included in the official public record for a particular section of the EIS, we must receive them within ten days of each meeting.
Submit your comments by emailing them to US281EIS@AlamoRMA.org or mailing them to the Alamo RMA. Please keep in mind that providing clear, concise, solution-oriented comments will be more effective than comments that simply oppose or support a proposed alternative.