Will the study recommend one strategy over the others?
No. The focus of this study is to identify a series of feasible alternatives. While there is no limit to the number of alternatives that can be suggested, the study will help narrow these options using in-depth analysis and modeling.
What does PEL mean?
The Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) process was established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to provide a more efficient process of evaluating a full range of transportation concepts and identifying preferred improvements. This process allows early planning decisions to be carried forward and speed up future National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) activities.
The NEPA process is how FHWA determines if a project is eligible for federal funding. A NEPA study examines safety, engineering, neighborhood and community impacts before recommending a preferred alternative to move forward. The PEL study will give the region a head start on the NEPA process that will be required later.
Alternatives studied as part of the PEL process do not have to be financially constrained — that is, it’s not necessary to spell out exactly where the money for future improvements will come from in a PEL study. The PEL process also allows for a longer time horizon to eventually move to project funding and construction.
- Who is conducting the PEL?
The project sponsors are the Mid-America Regional Council, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and the Missouri Department of Transportation. The sponsors will work alongside the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, the Kansas Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Advising the study will be dozens of agencies, governments, neighborhood associations, citizen’s groups and residents.