The Woodward Avenue Streetcar Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) followed the original environmental documentation for the Woodward Avenue Light Rail Transit (LRT) project (2011).
The project originally consisted of a Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a 9.3-mile light rail transit system in the Detroit, Michigan, approved by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) with a Record of Decision (2011). The FEIS evaluated a number of alternatives and design options for LRT service along Woodward Avenue, but due to funding limitations from the City of Detroit, it was cancelled. M-1 RAIL, a consortium of businesses, institutions, and foundations, renewed the effort to implement and operate a streetcar system on lower Woodward Avenue as a means of revitalizing this important corridor.
FTA, consequently, required a Supplemental EA to address the change in project scope. WSP USA was selected to prepare the document in December 2012. FTA, as the lead Federal agency, with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), coordinated the EA with several other agencies including M-1 RAIL, the City of Detroit, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
The EA evaluated a number of topics, focusing on six primary areas: transportation, air quality, historical and archeological resources, hazardous materials, noise and vibration, and social and economic resources. Technical reports supporting the Supplemental EA were also prepared for air quality, transportation, hazardous materials, Section 106, and noise and vibration. The EA was completed in February 2013. Securing an amended Record of Decision with the Supplemental EA, is essential for FTA and M-1 RAIL to obtain private funds for design and construction of the Woodward Streetcar. Nearly 70 percent of the project will be funded by private and public investor funds.