East-West Expressway Environmental Impact Statement, Durham, North Carolina

Author(s)
Federal Highway Administration
 
Date
2011
 
 
Abstract
The 10-mile limited-access highway was designed to serve as a connector between I-85 and I-40 in the area now known as the "Research Triangle". Half of the project was completed when the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), required the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to prepare an EIS in compliance with NEPA. The remainder of the planned Expressway traversed a small African-American neighborhood known as Crest Street. Although 40 percent of the households in this community were under the Federal poverty limit, Crest Street was a stable, cohesive community. Acquainted with the unpleasant experiences of other neighborhoods displaced by various segments of the Expressway, the community began voicing its opposition to this project. Community residents worked closely with professionals from FHWA, NCDOT, the City of Durham, Duke University, HUD and others to develop a comprehensive mitigation and enhancement plan to preserve the cohesiveness of the Crest Street community. This case study expands upon some elements initially described in the FHWA Report, Community Impact Mitigation Case Studies.  This case study offers several lessons applicable to successfully addressing environmental justice related to project development (NEPA), community impact assessment initiated by active community involvement, and effective mitigation measures. The case also explains how the Title VI Administrative Complaint review process was used during the process as well as how the "housing-of-last-resort" provision supported mitigation and the development of nearby replacement housing.
 
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