The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for U.S. Highway 275 (US-275) West Point to Scribner Project (project) sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT).
NDOT proposes to expand US-275 from a two-lane highway to a four-lane expressway along an approximately 20-mile segment from northwest of West Point to southeast of Scribner, including a bypass around Scribner (Scribner Bypass), in Cuming and Dodge Counties, Nebraska. The necessity for the expansion of this portion of US-275 arises from legislation, lack of connectivity between urban centers, and high average daily traffic use.
NDOT Stated Project Purpose
Advance the Scribner to West Point segment of the Norfolk to Fremont Expressway
Maximize utilization of existing transportation infrastructure and right-of-way, including connecting highways (N-9, N-32, and N-91)
Improve the safety and reliability of the roadway
Provide a more efficient roadway that improves regional connectivity for the traveling public, including commercial traffic, in northeast Nebraska
Fulfill the Nebraska Legislature mandates contained in Legislative Bill (LB) 632 and LB 84.
Corps Overall Project Purpose
To safely and efficiently improve regional connectivity between Scribner and West Point for existing and future traffic volumes while also improving connectivity to Highways N-9, N-32, and N-91; and where applicable would not be injurious to the public interest and would not impair the usefulness of the Scribner - Pebble Creek Left Bank and Elkhorn River Right Bank federal levees.
The project construction is expected to impact jurisdictional waters of the United States, thereby requiring a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit. Additionally, NDOT is proposing to build segments of the Scribner Bypass on an existing federally authorized levee, which would require a Section 408 authorization. The project may also affect Natural Resources Conservation Service Wetland Reserve Program easements. Due to these requirements, the Corps has determined that an EIS is necessary for the project, and the provisions of Executive Order 13807 (“One Federal Decision”) apply.
One Federal Decision
Executive Order 13807 (“One Federal Decision” [OFD]) applies to the project because it is a “major infrastructure project” that requires multiple authorizations by Federal agencies and preparation of an EIS, and NDOT has made a showing that it has funds available to complete the project.
OFD is intended to streamline federal permitting processes, including environmental reviews and authorization decisions, for major infrastructure projects. As such, the Corps has identified Cooperating Agencies whose authorization is required for the project, and is coordinating with them to complete the EIS.