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Notice of Availability of FONSI for I-35E in Ellis County

Tue July 16, 2019 - West Edition #15
Texas Department of Transportation

This notice is to advise the public that TxDOT has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the proposed interchange improvements on I-35E from U.S. 77 South to U.S. 77 North in Waxahachie, Ellis County, Texas.

The proposed I-35E Frontage Roads project would reconstruct and widen the existing frontage roads; convert all two-way operations to one-way operations; and make all of the frontage roads continuous along the entire project. The proposed frontage roads would include a 12-ft. inside lane; a 14-ft outside shared-use lane with 2-ft. offsets to the face of curb; provide 6-ft. sidewalks throughout; and provide new pedestrian bridges along U.S. 287 east and west of I-35E.

Additional improvements would include new I-35E overpasses at Lofland Drive, Butcher Road (Farm-to-Market [FM] 387), Sterrett Road; a new interchange at Hotel Drive at FM 664 (Ovilla Road) and improvements to FM 66 and FM 1446. All of the cross-street improvements also would include left- and right-turn bays along with U-Turns. This project also proposes to build two direct connectors (in the peak hourly direction) at the U.S. 287/I-35E interchange to relieve the current congestion at this interchange.

The project would require the acquisition of approximately 33.2 acres of new right of way (ROW) and 1.1 acres of permanent drainage easements; 1.3 acres of temporary construction easements would also be required to accommodate the proposed roadway improvements.

To avoid noise impacts that may result from future development adjacent to a proposed highway project, a traffic noise analysis is included in the final environmental assessment (EA), which includes predicted noise impact contours for currently undeveloped areas. These impact contours are intended as a general guide to assist local planning officials and developers plan and construct new activities in locations that would not result in traffic noise impacts.

On the date of approval/clearance of an EA/FONSI (including the traffic noise analysis) for a proposed highway project, TxDOT is no longer responsible for providing noise abatement for new development. Additionally, as TxDOT does not provide retroactive (retrofit) abatement (known as a Type II program), this project area would not be eligible for potential noise abatement until the next major highway improvement project.

Memorandum of Understanding

The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried-out by TxDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 16, 2014, and executed by FHWA and TxDOT.

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