Federal Highway Administration clears way for I-90 EIS

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has cleared the way for Sound Transit and the Washington State Department of Transportation to include Alternative R-8A in the environmental analysis for the I-90 Two-Way Transit Operations Project. This action allows Sound Transit to proceed with the environmental analysis to evaluate several alternatives.

Including this alternative in the environmental analysis was strongly supported by Senator Patty Murray, chair of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee and Eighth District U.S. Representative Jennifer Dunn.

"Today's report is good news and a positive step towards reducing traffic congestion and commuter time in the Puget Sound region," said Senator Murray. "I will continue to explore every option to reduce the congestion and frustration in the Puget Sound region."

"We're very pleased the FHWA has agreed to include Alternative R-8A in the environmental analysis," said Sound Transit Board Chair Dave Earling. "This allows us to move ahead with the Environmental Impact Study (EIS)-the next important step in building a more efficient transit corridor between Seattle and Bellevue"

"I am encouraged by the FHWA's agreement to include this option ," said Congresswoman Dunn. "It is important that a full range of options is studied to create an easier flow of traffic with a minimal impact on the environment."

"We're pleased that FHWA has made a thorough review of R-8A and has found it acceptable," said John Okamoto, State Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary for Northwest Washington. "We will work closely with them to address their conditions of approval during the EIS process."

"This is great news for regional commuters, especially Eastside businesses and their employees," said Bellevue Deputy Mayor Connie Marshall, who is a member of the I-90 Steering Committee. "When bus and carpool lanes flow both ways across I-90, travel times for car-poolers and bus riders will be far faster than they are now."

The I-90 Project Steering Committee which includes representatives from the cities of Mercer Island, Bellevue and Seattle; King County/Metro Transit; WSDOT; FHWA; FTA and Sound Transit will meet on November 20 to discuss the scope of the EIS. A number of public meetings will be held in early December to get input from the public on all the alternatives.


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