Four locations are now being considered for the Tri-Cities Multimodal Station, a project to consider the construction of a new regional rail station in...

Four locations are now being considered for the Tri-Cities Multimodal Station, a project to consider the construction of a new regional rail station in the Tri-Cities, which includes the cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell and the counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George. The existing Petersburg Station in Ettrick currently hosts Amtrak passenger rail service, however additional investment is required to attract and accommodate increased ridership, improve accessibility to the local and regional transportation network, improve ADA accessibility, and provide capacity to support future high-speed rail service.

The Crater Planning District Commission in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration has been seeking public comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Tri-Cities Multimodal Station. The public comment period ends Monday, May 22.

The assessment study complies with the National Environmental Protection Act process, whereby a study must be prepared by a federal agency before any major federal action that could potentially affect the quality of the natural and built environment is implemented. The railroad administration is the federal lead agency for this project.

Following the screening of 13 initial locations, incorporation of initial technical findings, and public input, the assessment ultimately considered four locations and concepts for evaluation: Ettrick (existing), Boulevard, Branders Bridge, and Collier South. The proposed preferred location of the Boulevard location was recommended by the administration to best provide for convenient access to population centers in the region, establish a visible and direct linkage between rail service and the I-95 corridor, and integrate into a built environment that supports existing transit and future improvements to walk/bike access. At this stage, this is a preliminary recommendation and not a final decision. A final decision will be made by the administration following comments received during this comment period.

The assessment has been available for public review and comment since April 21 federal, state, and local agencies, and interested members of the public, are invited and encouraged to review and comment on the assessment. Following this comment period, a Finding of No Significant Impact is expected, to affirm no significant impacts on the quality of the environment and reflect all applicable comments and responses.

The assessment is available online at: http://craterpdc.org/transportation/documents/NEPA_Study_2014/Tri-Cities%20Signed%20Draft%20EA_FULL%20Document.pdf
A physical copy of the assessment is available for public viewing during normal business hours at the Crater Planning District Commission office located in the Monument Professional Building, 1964 Wakefield Street, Petersburg, Virginia 23805 and at the following public libraries in the Tri-Cities and locally at

•Ettrick-Matoaca Library, 4501 River Rd. •Colonial Heights Public Library,1000 Yacht Basin Dr. •Enon Library, 1801 Enon Church Rd.
Written comments may be mailed to Mr. Joseph Vinsh, Special Projects Coordinator, at Crater Planning District Commission, 1964 Wakefield Street, Petersburg, VA 23805. Comments may also be emailed to jvinsh@craterpdc.org.

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