Projects with public funding that may have environmental impacts, like the Gateway Corridor project, must complete an environmental review document. The Gateway Corridor project will be completing an Environmental Assessment (EA).
The EA will disclose the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts of the locally preferred alternative, as well as a “no build” alternative for comparison. A list of all the items that will be covered in the EA can be found in this guide.
In tandem with preparation of the EA, project conceptual engineering and design has proceeded. During the EA process, the project will get to approximately 15% engineering.
In 2014 the corridor cities, counties, and Metropolitan Council identified an initial locally preferred alternative (LPA) of bus rapid transit generally on a route through Saint Paul, Maplewood, Landfall, Oakdale, Woodbury, and Lake Elmo. The initial LPA did not define the eastern end of the route between Lake Elmo Avenue/Settlers Ridge Parkway and Manning Avenue. Additional analysis and coordination occurred, and in October 2015 the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) recommended a refined LPA. Follwing the PAC’s recommendation, resolutions of support were needed from each city and county in which the refined portion of the alignment is located to finalize the LPA selection. One city, Lake Elmo, did not pass a resolution of support for the refined LPA.
By deciding not to pass a resolution of support for the refined LPA, the City of Lake Elmo indicated that they did not support the Gateway Corridor project being located in their community. Therefore, the project underwent a process to reevaluate the alignment east of I-694. In December 2016 following further technical analysis and public feedback, the PAC and Gateway Corridor Commission approved an LPA alignment that continues east on 4th Street after crossing I-694, turn south on Helmo Avenue, cross I-94 on a new bridge, and continue south on Bielenberg Drive to the Woodbury Theatre park-and-ride.
Publication of the EA is expected in 2017. Comments on the EA are encouraged. Written comments will be accepted for a 45-day comment period to be announced, and a public hearing will be held for community members to provide verbal comments on the EA.