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Tongue River Road Corridor Planning Study

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Corridor Planning Study?

MDT developed the Corridor Planning Process in an effort to better coordinate and link the planning process with the NEPA/MEPA process. The Corridor Planning Study is developed strictly as a planning project and not a design or construction project. A Corridor Planning Study evaluates safety, environmental and geometric concerns of a transportation corridor and identifies needs and possible improvement options to address those needs. Cost, availability of funding, and phasing possibilities are taken into consideration.

What does a "pre-NEPA/MEPA Corridor Study" mean?

NEPA is the National Environmental Policy Act. Modeled after NEPA, MEPA is the Montana Environmental Policy Act, and it only applies to state agencies and state actions. NEPA is a federal law that outlines policies and goals to be complied with to assist community officials in making decisions, taking into account the human and natural environment and the community's need for safe and efficient transportation. The NEPA/MEPA process also ensures that environmental information is available to the community before decisions are made and carried out.

The Tongue River Road Corridor Planning Study is a pre-NEPA/MEPA study that includes a high level environmental scan of potential issues. The results of the study will be used to determine the level of environmental documentation to be used prior to continuation of the NEPA/MEPA process and project implementation.

The Corridor Planning Process allows for earlier planning-level coordination with the public, resource and other agencies, and will develop specific factors that can be used in the subsequent environmental review process as projects are moved forward from the study. The corridor study is designed to help facilitate a smooth and efficient transition from transportation planning to project development/environmental review.

For additional information, refer to MDT's corridor study process.

Who conducted the study?

MDT, in partnership with Custer and Rosebud Counties, conducted this study. The Helena office of Robert Peccia & Associates (RPA) assisted these partners in completing the planning effort in December 2012.