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AASHTO Publishes Case Studies on Planning and Environment Linkages

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The Planning and Environment Linkages logo.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials periodically shares resources on environmental topics through its Center for Environmental Excellence. Their postings include recent news and case studies on Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL). PEL take environmental and community concerns into account during the earliest stages of transportation planning. Doing this can prevent costly and time consuming backtracking during environmental review, making PEL an invaluable area of study. Three case studies published on State DOTs in spring and summer of 2022 are detailed below.

Integration of Resilience and Context Sensitivity on a Mountain Corridor: Interstate 70 Floyd Hill to Veterans Memorial Tunnels Project, Colorado (March 23, 2022):

This study describes work by the Colorado DOT to improve a seven mile stretch of I-70. It describes the benefits of incorporating Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) and Design (CSD) into Resilience Projects. Following these processes incorporate the voices of local to federal stakeholders, and consider economic, social, and environmental resources.

Utah DOT Environmental Commitments System (July 5, 2022):

This study describes Utah DOT’s use of an electronic data system (ePM) to track environmental documents and commitments. This software is accessible to partners and consultants, better coordinating commitments with regulatory agency partners and ensuring a smoother, less drawn out process of environmental review.

Ohio DOT Environmental Commitments System (July 5, 2022):

This study describes work by the Ohio DOT to establish a detailed process of developing and tracking its environmental commitments. ODOT’s manual provides standardized steps and language, providing helpful examples and guides to writing monitoring plans. EnviroNET, ODOT’s online tracking tool, further assists in following these monitoring steps.

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