What is the South Rochford Road EA?
The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) is partnering with Pennington County (the County) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) on a proposal for roadway improvements on South Rochford Road in Pennington County, South Dakota. The proposed project would involve roadway improvements to South Rochford Road approximately 10 miles beginning at Rochford and terminating at the intersection of Deerfield Road.
The FHWA has rescinded the notice to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the reconstruction of South Rochford Road. This rescission was posted in the Federal Register on December 17, 2015. A copy maybe be found here: Formal Recision Notice.
The Joint Lead Agencies determined design standards based on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guidelines for Geometric Design of Very Low-Volume Local Roads meet the purpose and need for this project. Use of these standards provides for a reduced roadway width that is consistent with similar low volume surfaced roadways in Pennington County. Further this change will have a positive effect on the natural and human environment by reducing the impacts to historic sites and TCPs, reducing wetland impacts, and benefiting the habitat of sensitive plant species currently protected by the U.S. Forest Service. FHWA believes these changes have brought the proposed action below the threshold of an EIS. Therefore we will complete the environmental review as an Environmental Assessment (EA) to determine if the project has the potential to significantly affect the quality of the natural and human environment. If, as a result of the EA, we find the action is likely to have a significant impact on the environment, an EIS will be prepared. If not, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) will be issued.
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