wrote to the Federal Highway Administration Office of Project Development and Environmental Review requesting four things with regard to the Alcoa Parkway/Bypass project:

1. Reject a "finding of no significant impact" and require a full Environmental Impact Statement for the 2004/2010 proposed bypass alternative.

2. Require the original 2000 "fix in place" improvement EA to be included in the final 2004/2010 bypass proposal EIS as an alternative build option for public comment.

3. Require a new public hearing on the combined 2000 EA and 2004/2010 proposal EIS.

4. Carefully review the EA/EIS reports and give full and equal consideration to public comments of all stakeholders, including the general public and residents of the affected communities, before making any final decision on a preferred build option.

After filtering down to the Tennessee Division office, FWHA Tennessee Division Administrator Pamela M. Kordenbrock responded by saying that they appreciate our comments and FWHA will pass them along to TDOT for consideration.

Further, Ms. Kordenbrock says that "the FHWA approved an Environmental Assessment, which was developed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), on March 24, 2004. The Department is currently preparing a final environmental document in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)."

We are not exactly clear whether the statement "FHWA approved an Environmental Assessment" means FWHA approved preparing an EA or approved the plan based on a "finding of no significant impact" for the EA. We are also not clear on what a NEPA "final environmental document" is.

It is also our understanding that the Federal Highway Administration is the final decision maker on whether to approve a project's Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement, so we are not clear on why the FHWA forwarded our request to TDOT.

In fact, Gerald Solomon, Director, FHWA Office of Project Development and Environmental Review in Washington said in his response that "our Division Administrator in Tennessee, Ms. Pamela M. Kordenbrock, is responsible for decisions on review of projects under the National Environmental Policy Act."

We will be following up with Ms. Kordenbrock for clarification on these points.

In the mean time, if anyone else has similar concerns about the lack of public involvement in this project or FWHA oversight, please contact the FHWA officials mentioned below, and feel free to copy and paste from our letter.

Mr. Gerald L. Solomon, Director
Office of Project Development and Environmental Review
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20590

Ms. Pamela M. Kordenbrock, Administrator
Federal Highway Administration Tennessee Division
404 BNA Drive
Suite 508
Nashville, Tennessee 37217

Copies of the letters (click image to view):

Our letter to FHWA
FHWA Washington
FHWA Nashville

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Is there anything new about

Is there anything new about this environmental study? I live next to the Pine Lakes Golf Course and 1 of our 2 buildings is to be taken by eminent domain. We just found out last weekend (10/1/11). No one had ever contacted us before and the only way we found out was by word of mouth. I'm disappointed to know that they did not care to inform us at all about this huge super highway! The building that is slated to be left behind is going to be devalued so much because of the highway being built. This just isn't fair.

It appears that as of now

It appears that as of now they will not require an environmental study. Ridiculous as it may be, they have found there is no finding of significant impact for building this proposed new road.

Please keep tuned to this site for more information. We hope to have a citizens meeting to gather input from citizens in the area regarding this proposed project.


About this site

The purpose of this site is to provide an online clearinghouse for information about the proposed Alcoa Parkway bypass and to promote public awareness and public participation in the process. We believe that the original proposal to improve the existing Alcoa Highway corridor needs a second look as a viable alternative for correcting safety and capacity problems, and that the public should have more input in selecting the preferred build alternative.

Contact us

Send your comments and suggestions to M. Neal, or R. Neal, You can also mail your comments to Stop Alcoa Parkway, P.O. Box 490, Alcoa TN 37701. To join our mailing list for updates and new developments, please email