Scope of Work

SCOPE OF WORK
FOR

FTA ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS
DRAFT AND FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

PHASE II

Project 302-008

CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Bureau of Public Transportation

November 2007




FEASIBILITY STUDY
DANBURY BRANCH ELECTRIFICATION

OVERVIEW OF PHASE I
1.0 Purpose and Need of Phase I

The Connecticut Department of Transportation as part of Phase I of this study conducted an evaluation of the feasibility of electrifying the New Haven Line’s Danbury Branch. The term feasibility was construed in the broad sense of the word. The scope of the study included more than a simple evaluation of the ability to physically construct the catenary and power supply infrastructure and an estimation of the costs involved. The desire to evaluate the feasibility of electrifying the Danbury Branch was rooted in the perception that electrification would increase the utility of the Branch, allowing for reduced travel time and more frequent service. These improvements would place the Branch in a better position to address two corridor-wide concerns; automobile congestion in the Route 7 and other adjacent north/south corridors, and the exodus of Connecticut rail commuters to the Harlem Line in New York. The purpose of the Phase I study was to evaluate a range of infrastructure and service improvements within the corridor to determine their potential to significantly enhance the Branch’s attraction as a competitive alternative to driving in the Route 7 and other adjacent north/south corridors, or commuting on the Harlem Line.

In addition, the state’s Transportation Strategy Board identified the need to evaluate the needs of the New Haven Line’s Danbury, Waterbury, and New Canaan Branch rail passenger services.

2.0 Results of Phase I

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT), the South West Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA), the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials (HVCEO) and stakeholders in the study corridor identified the need to provide transportation system improvements, capital improvements and/or multimodal transportation systems between the communities of Norwalk, Wilton, Redding, Ridgefield, Bethel, Danbury, Brookfield and New Milford. The transportation system and capital improvements in this scope include commuter rail service and operational changes, supporting feeder bus shuttle service where appropriate, construction of a new catenary system and potential track alignment changes, passing siding additions, and a possible extension of rail service. Other corridor studies have extensively examined potential roadway improvements to Route 7, including lane additions and new intersections. Community opposition, environmental constraints and potential congestion attainment factors have made relocation of Route 7 unfeasible, limiting Route 7 improvements to widening to four lanes. A public transit improvements (commuter rail) feasibility/alternatives assessment study was completed for this project, and identified four alternatives to be examined in greater detail in an Alternatives Analysis/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The alternatives under consideration, in addition to the No Build Alternative, are:

  • Transportation System Management (TSM) Alternative
  • Build Alternative – rail alignments, passing sidings, and electrification
  • Extension of rail passenger service from Danbury to New Milford
  • Partial Electrification from South Norwalk to the vicinity of the Merritt Parkway with expanded feeder and regional bus service

3.0 Phase II Work Program

Building upon the significant engineering efforts and Alternatives Summary Evaluation presented in the Phase I Final Report, Phase II of this study will be designed to satisfy the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Alternatives Analysis/ Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statement (AA/DEIS) requirements as well as the combined Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and FTA National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) policy guidelines, Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations, and Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) criteria for environmental documents. This Phase II Study will concurrently provide the documentation necessary to support an FTA Small Starts application for the extension of service from Danbury to New Milford if that is selected as part of the locally preferred alternative.

The following scope of services provides the transportation, engineering and environmental tasks anticipated to develop and complete an AA/DEIS and the supporting documentation for an FTA Small Starts application. It has been prepared as a basis for fee negotiations and study development. Below is the outline:

TASK 1 Project Management
TASK 2 Coordination
TASK 3 Public Outreach
TASK 4 Base Map Preparation
TASK 5 Environmental Data Collection and Impact Evaluation
TASK 6 Transportation Alternatives Development and Evaluation
TASK 7 Conceptual Engineering and Evaluation
TASK 8 Draft Environmental Impact Statement – South Norwalk to New Milford
TASK 9 Final Environmental Impact Statement – South Norwalk to New Milford

Complete PDF copy of the Phase II Scope of Work (284 kB)