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WALKER COUNTY – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), as the Lead Agency, is proposing to widen a portion of IH 45 in Walker County, Texas. This notice advises the public that TxDOT will be conducting a public hearing for the proposed project. The hearing will be held on August 9, 2018, at the Walker County Storm Shelter located at 455 SH 75, Huntsville, TX 77320. Displays will be available for viewing at 4:30 PM with the formal hearing starting at 6:00 PM. The purpose of the hearing is to present the planned improvements and to receive public comment for the proposed project.
The proposed 4.45-mile long project is located in the city limits of Huntsville from 0.3 miles north of SH 19 to 0.9 miles north of SH 30. The project will widen IH 45 from four to six lanes and will include reconstruction and realignment of the main lanes and ramps, the addition of collector-distributor roads, improving drainage structures and bridges, and improvements to frontage roads and crossroads adjacent to new ramps and interchanges.
The existing facility consists of a four-lane divided controlled access freeway. There are two travel lanes in each direction, bounded by 10 foot outside and 6 foot inside shoulders. Two-lane one-way frontage roads are positioned on the outside of the main lanes. The existing right-of-way varies from 175 to 250 feet in width. The proposed project would displace 4 commercial structures. Information about the TxDOT Relocation Assistance Program, benefits, and services for displacements, as well as information about the tentative schedules for right-of-way acquisition and construction, can be obtained from the TxDOT Bryan District Office at the address listed below. Relocation assistance is available for displaced persons and businesses. Information concerning services and benefits available to affected property owners and information about the tentative schedule for right-of-way acquisition may be obtained from the district office at the address listed below.
The proposed project encroaches on the floodplains of MacDonald and Robinson Creeks; emergent wetlands within these floodplains would be impacted by the project. As part of this project, TxDOT is considering a Section 4(f) de minimis impact determination for impacts to the Raven Nest Golf Course. Approximately 0.2 acres located along the eastern boundary of the golf course would be required for permanent incorporation into the proposed transportation facility. A Section 4(f) de minimis finding means that the proposed project would not adversely affect the activities, features, or attributes that qualify the Raven Nest Golf Course for protection under Section 4(f). TxDOT will consider comments received during the environmental process before making a final Section 4(f) de minimis determination.
Any environmental documentation or studies, maps showing the project location and design, tentative construction schedules, and other information regarding the project are on file and available for inspection Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the TxDOT Bryan District Office at 2591 North Earl Rudder Freeway, Bryan Texas, by phone at (979) 778-2165, and online at https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/bryan/i45-central-walker.html. This information also will be available for inspection at the hearing. Verbal and written comments from the public regarding the project are requested and may be presented at the hearing, or submitted in person or by mail to the TxDOT Bryan District Office. Comments must be received on or before August 15, 2018, to be part of the official hearing record.
The hearing will be conducted in English. Persons interested in attending the hearing who have special communication or accommodation needs, are encouraged to call (979) 778-2165. Requests should be made at least two days prior to the hearing. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate these needs.
If you have any general questions or concerns regarding the proposed project or the hearing, please contact Mr. Neal Riddle, P.E. at (979) 778-9791 or by email at Neal.Riddle@txdot.gov.
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.
For more information, contact Bobby.Colwell@txdot.gov or (979) 778-9764.