The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and other partner Bay Area agencies are pursuing development of an integrated Bay Area system of express lanes, Regional Express Lane Network, to enhance mobility, improve travel time reliability and offer an alternative choice to commuters within the San Francisco Bay Area. MTC and Caltrans have selected an initial set of five segments to advance as the first phase of the Regional Express Lane Network (Phase 1 Project): (1) Bay Bridge approach, (2) San Mateo Bridge approach, (3) Dumbarton Bridge approach, (4) Interstate 680 (I-680) between Alcosta Boulevard and Livorna Road, and (5) Interstate 880 (I-880) between Hegenberger/ Lewelling to State Route 237 (SR 237). Altogether, the Phase 1 Project comprises 76 miles.
Circlepoint assisted in developing the environmental clearance strategy (Categorical Exemptions/Exclusions) to clear all five segments. Given the fast-track nature of the project an innovative and iterative approach was taken that advanced early environmental technical studies while traffic, engineering and operational issues were being resolved. This approach coupled with strong partnering and public outreach activities allowed the Project Approval/Environmental Document process to be completed in approximately 18 months.
Environmental services included strategic guidance of the CEQA and NEPA environmental process, including risk assessment, environmental documentation requirements, preparation of project purpose and need, and procedural schedule. In addition, Circlepoint served in a project oversight and quality assurance/quality control role for the environmental document.
Circlepoint’s communications services involved scheduling, coordinating and presenting at multiple public meetings along the project corridors as well as coordinating key stakeholder meetings with local elected officials and city staff. In addition, outreach activities were designed to meet the needs of outreach and involvement under Caltrans and FHWA environmental justice procedures and requirements.