The N.C. Department of Transportation has identified six options – referred to as alternatives – to study further:
- Three alternatives on a new location
- Three new location/upgrade existing "hybrid" alternatives
NCDOT selected these alternatives for detailed study based on their potential to fulfill the project's purpose while minimizing impacts to the human and natural environment. The decision was based on a rigorous comparison of a wide range of alternatives and involved input from the public, local governments and environmental resource and regulatory agencies.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement
In March 2019, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement was signed by NCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is a federally required environmental document that describes the purpose and need for the project, identifies project alternatives, and evaluates them for potential environmental effects.
Comments on the Draft Environmental Statement will be accepted until May 16, 2019.
The next step in the planning process will be to summarize comments received at the public hearing and choose a preferred corridor, referred to as the Preferred Alternative. Public comments and recommendations will be on public record and will be considered when selecting the Preferred Alternative and to develop the final design of the project.
Designs for the Preferred Alternative will then be refined to reassess the project's environmental impacts.
After a public comment period and review by local, state and federal agencies, NCDOT will prepare a Final Environmental Impact Statement that will identify the Preferred Alternative and also address comments received on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
The Preferred Alternative is not a final decision.
The environmental study process will conclude with a Record of Decision, which will include the approved corridor – called the Selected Alternative – and explain why it was chosen and how to minimize and compensate for human and environmental impacts.
The Selected Alternative is a final decision.