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SR 91 Improvement Project

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the SR 91 Improvements project the same as the Elizabethton Northern Connector project?
The Elizabethton Northern Connector Project has been renamed the SR 91 Improvements Project to better reflect the NEPA requirement to study a range of alternatives, including improvements to the existing road.

2. Why does the SR 91 project have to go through the environmental review process?
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that projects receiving federal funding or requiring federal actions (e.g., permits) undergo an environmental review process. The project cannot proceed until this requirement has been successfully completed.

3. What is the difference between an Environmental Assessment (EA) and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)?
An Environmental Assessment (EA) is prepared if it is unknown whether or not a project has the potential to significantly impact environmental resources. If the EA identifies potential significant impacts then an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be prepared.
The major differences between the two types of documents are the level of detail, required study alternatives, and the procedural process.

4. What alternatives must be studied in an EIS?
Alternatives that must be studied in an EIS include:

The No-Build Alternative:
  • Examines what would happen if no improvements (other than routine maintenance) were made to the road
  • Serves as a baseline that other alternatives are compared agains

The TSM Alternative
Transportation system management is the application of construction, operational and institutional actions to make the most productive and cost effective use of existing transportation facilities and services.
The Transit Alternative
The transit alternative includes all reasonable and feasible transit options.

Build Alternative(s)
A representative number of reasonable alternatives must be presented and evaluated in detail. The following build alternatives should be evaluated:
  • Improvement of the existing highway(s)
  • Alternatives on new location
5. What other transportation projects are on-going in the SR 91 project area?
  • State Route 400 (Lynn Avenue) Road Widening and Bridge Replacement
  • State Route 67 Signalization Improvements