MT-1 West of Anaconda to Georgetown Lake Corridor Studylogo

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 MT-1 West of Anaconda to Georgetown Lake Corridor Planning Study was a pre-NEPA/MEPA study that included a high level environmental scan of potential issues.

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

Who conducted the study?

MDT, in partnership with ADLC, conducted this study. The Helena office of Robert Peccia & Associates (RPA) assisted these partners in completing the planning effort by the end of 2011.

What steps were taken during the Corridor Planning Study?

MDT established several steps that were followed to produce an effective corridor study. These include:

  1. Develop corridor study work plan
    The planning team will assess the complexity of issues within the corridor and the level of effort required to address the issues.
  2. Develop existing and projected conditions report
    The report will analyze existing and projected conditions, incorporate findings from an environmental scan, and consider local community vision, goals and objectives. Perceived corridor issues, known impacts and potential mitigation opportunities will be documented as part of the report.
  3. Identify needs, issues, impacts, goals, and screening criteria
    The planning team will consider comments from local governments, resource agencies, and the community at-large to develop screening criteria and objectives for improvement options analysis. The screening criteria will be related to the identified needs, issues, impacts, goals, costs, and funding and resources available.
  4. Determine improvement options advanced and not advanced
    The planning team will analyze each improvement option using the identified screening criteria, leading to a selection of preliminary improvement options advanced and not advanced.
  5. Recommend improvement options
    The planning team will recommend a complete package of improvement option(s) for improving the MT-1 corridor. Potential impacts and mitigation opportunities will be identified within the corridor.
  6. Prepare draft corridor study report
    Based on key findings, needs, screening criteria, and recommendations, the planning team will develop a draft corridor study report. Consultation and comments on the draft report will be obtained from local governments, resource agencies, as well as through community involvement.
  7. Make recommendations
    The planning team will finalize the corridor study report. This Corridor Study may then transition forward to implementation.

What happens next?

The Corridor Study was developed strictly as a planning study and not a design or environmental review project. Future steps, if any, will be determined by MDT, in conjunction with ADLC.

How was the community involved in the study?

The community was invited to participate in the process through community informational meetings and ongoing study information review and input. The study website provided on-line opportunities to comment on the MT-1 corridor, and the draft plan recommendations. Dates, times, and locations for all community outreach opportunities were announced prior to the events through the local media and the study mailing list.

MDT, ADLC, and RPA collected and considered all community comments received to better understand the community view of potential issues. The team will determine the next steps that best meets the study purpose and has the support of cooperating organizations, local governments, regulatory agencies, stakeholders, and the community.