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Pontoon Construction Project Environmental Process

WSDOT is advancing pontoon construction to restore the floating section of the SR 520 Evergreen Point Floating Bridge in the event of a catastrophic failure. If the SR 520 bridge failed, it could take several years to construct pontoons and restore the bridge for drivers.

Port of Grays Harbor area in Hoquiam, WA
Port of Grays Harbor area in Hoquiam, WA.

There are four key milestones in the environmental review process:

1. Conduct public and agency scoping. During the public and agency scoping phase, we ask for comments from the public, tribal nations, and federal, state and local agencies on the purpose and need, range of alternatives, and the environmental topics we will evaluate in the project’s environmental impact statement (EIS).

2. Publish draft EIS and hold public hearing. The next step is to prepare and publish a draft EIS that includes the results of our analysis for the alternatives and identifies ways we can mitigate the environmental effects of the project. We will hold a public hearing when we publish the draft EIS to gather comments on the results of our evaluation and proposed mitigation measures.

3. Publish final EIS. In the final EIS, we respond to the agency and public comments we received on the draft EIS. The final project recommendation – known as the “preferred alternative” – is also identified.

4. Record of Decision. After the final EIS is published, the Federal Highway Administration will prepare a Record of Decision, a public document that describes the project’s course of action and specific mitigation measures. Once the Record of Decision is issued, we will have completed the environmental review process and can obtain construction permits.

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