The South County Connector Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is entering the final stages of the study. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and other agencies are currently reviewing the Preliminary Draft EIS. Once the FHWA approves the document, it will be released to the public and all stakeholders as a Draft EIS. The release of the Draft EIS is anticipated by the end of January 2013. Release of the Draft EIS will start a 45 day review public review period and will include a final public hearing to discuss the proposed alignment, and to record any comments or concerns the public has. The public hearing is anticipated in February or early March.
Extensive environmental investigations that have been taking place within the study area for the project to prepare the draft EIS. The overall corridor was reduced in width, and extends from Hanley Road in the vicinity of Flora to River Des Peres Boulevard at Lansdowne. The corridor encompasses the Deer Creek Center, Big Bend Industrial Court and part of the parking lot of the Shrewsbury MetroLink Station. A new interchange is proposed at Interstate 44. Two alternative alignments have been evaluated within the corridor.
Once all comments from the public hearing and the public review period are addressed, a Final EIS will be submitted to the FHWA for review. That will lead to a Record-of-Decision, giving authorization to proceed with the project. The Record-of-Decision is expected by summer 2013. Funding has not been secured for design or construction yet. However, completing the Environmental Impact Statement and receiving a Record-of-Decision makes the project eligible to receive Federal funding. More information and updates are available at www.southcountyconnector.com