Over an 18-month period, WSP will oversee the development and completion of the EIS as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which will determine the impact that the extension will have on the environment. Since the line will follow existing roadway corridors, the study will also evaluate the impact the project will have on traffic flow and intersections. WSP will then recommend actions for the project that will maintain the quality of life in the region.
WSP will also determine the capital costs needed for the project, which is necessary to qualify for the Federal Transit Administration's capital improvement grant program.
The firm will partner with Sowinski Sullivan Architects on the conceptual design; and with Mott MacDonald, the firm that worked on the original Buffalo light rail system.
“WSP was chosen for this project in part due to our experience and reputation on light rail projects across the U.S., as well as for our local presence and reputation for quality work with the client on other projects involving our Buffalo office,” Sibert said.
The process will also include extensive public engagement to meet NEPA requirements and inform the public about the alignment, its potential impacts on the community during construction, and what will be done to mitigate those impacts.
Sibert, who is leading the project; Fred Frank, deputy project manager; and Mark Tytka, principal-in-charge, are looking forward to building community support for Buffalo’s light rail extension.
“It’s always rewarding to see a project develop that has been identified to improve accessibility for the public and creates new opportunities to encourage or promote modes of transportation beyond the personal car,” Sibert said.
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