Toll roads may be exclusive

News AASHTO Journal December 10, 2004
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Toll roads may be exclusively considered in National Environmental Policy Act documentation under certain circumstances, accord

Toll roads may be exclusively considered in National Environmental Policy Act documentation under certain circumstances, according to a legal memorandum from the Federal Highway Administration released to Colorado Department of Transportation division administrators, planners and environmental coordinators.


CDOT asked for guidance over whether it "can include tolling or funding availability as part of its purpose and need statement, and whether funding availability can be used to eliminate alternatives as 'unreasonable?'" The Colorado Tolling Enterprise Board conducted a statewide tolling system traffic and revenue feasibility analysis and identified eight possible toll projects.


FHWA Chief Counsel D.J. Gribbin wrote, "If the need for a toll road comes out of the transportation planning process, then tolling could be included as part of the purpose and need statement for an environmental analysis under NEPA. Absent these circumstances, specific goals and objectives of a project, such as the urgency of the project or need to relieve congestion, could narrow the range of reasonable alternative, especially when considered in conjunction with other factors, might provide the basis for eliminating that alternative as unreasonable."



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