In 2012, TxDOT and the Mobility Authority initiated a new environmental study of US 290 and SH 71, called the Oak Hill Parkway. TxDOT, the Mobility Authority, their consultants, participating agencies, and the public developed mobility improvement concepts and a methodology for screening the concepts. The concepts represented the range of reasonable alternatives required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The preliminary concepts were presented to the public during numerous public involvement activities.
The iterative process involved initial scoping discussions, collaboration regarding concepts to be evaluated and the project’s purpose and need, evaluation of the concepts through a screening process, and carrying forward for further study the concepts that best meet the project purpose and need.
In January 2015, the remaining build concepts were further developed as Alternative A and Alternative C. The No-Build, or “Do Nothing,” Alternative continues to be carried forward and serves as a baseline for analysis. These alternatives are evaluated in detail in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), and resulted in the identification of a preferred alternative.
On May 4, 2018, the DEIS was published for public and agency review, and Alternative A is proposed as the recommended build alternative. Learn more here.
The No-Build Alternative is still an option on the table for approval and is being carried forward as a baseline for comparison.
At the end of this environmental study, if the TxDOT Environmental Division decides that the No-Build Alternative is the preferred alternative, US 290 and SH 71 would continue to exist as they do today and would continue to have standard, routine maintenance over the next 30 years. Travel times are projected to increase to approximately 25 to 35 minutes over what they are today. Congestion, safety, and mobility would continue to decline in the Oak Hill area as population increases. In addition, the proposed bicycle/pedestrian accommodations and the upstream water detention ponds would not be constructed.