Connecticut releases FEIS for Resilient Bridgeport

The Connecticut Department of Housing (CTDOH) announces the release of the Resilient Bridgeport Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). We invite you to review and provide comments on this important document.
 
The FEIS provides a detailed project description and describes environmental impacts associated with the Proposed Action as well as a No Action Alternative. The Proposed Action consists of three project components:
 
  1. The Rebuild By Design (RBD) Pilot Project at Marina Village public housing site
  2. A Flood Risk Reduction Project on the east side of the South End that combines stormwater improvements with a coastal flood defense system
  3. A Resilience Center within the Freeman House complex and a pocket park at the entrance of Seaside Park
 
The intended combined effect of these three projects is to create flood resiliency within the study area for its various stakeholders, including residents and businesses, during typical rain events as well as more intense storm events, improving overall health and safety for the area.
 
New in the FEIS:
 
The CT DOH has identified a Preferred Alternative (Alternative 1) for the coastal flood defense system alignment, located primarily on private industrial/utility property in response to public comments and input from property owners. It is a minor variation of the Eastern Option presented in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). After elevating University Avenue to Main Street, the alignment would cross the 60 Main Street development site and connect with protection measures at PSEG Harbor Unit 5 before turning north. The alignment then runs along PSEG and Bridgeport Energy property as well as the future site of the Pequonnock Substation owned by UI, before crossing Ferry Access Road and tying into a northern section of the CTDOT New Haven Line railroad viaduct.
 
The Preferred Alternative (Alternative 1) provides the greatest geographic extent of coastal flood risk reduction and avoids an impact to the historic Cottage district along Main Street. In place of the Eastern and Western alignment boundaries as options presented in the DEIS, three additional alternative alignments (Alternatives 2-4) for the coastal flood defense system alignment are evaluated in the FEIS. These alignments require fewer agreements with private property owners, but do not offer as much protected area or have impacts to the Cottage district and were therefore not selected as the Preferred Alternative.
 
The FEIS includes a response to public comments on the DEIS in Appendix H. The response clarifies that public access to Seaside Park is maintained at all times for all vehicles via Broad Street, which is ramped up and over the coastal flood defense system at University Avenue. Public access to the park is maintained at the intersection of Main Street and University Avenue for pedestrians and bicycles via ADA-accessible ramps and stairs.
 
Like the DEIS, the FEIS evaluates potential environmental impacts associated with the Proposed Action’s alternative alignments including but not limited to the following: air quality, noise, vibration, traffic, and environmental justice populations associated with the construction of the coastal flood defense system, as well as potential impacts to historic architectural and archaeological resources.
 
The FEIS addresses Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 in coordination with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A draft Programmatic Agreement between CTDOH and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is available for public review and comment in Appendix C of the FEIS. The draft Programmatic Agreement resolves findings of adverse effects to historic resources (particularly Seaside Park) with procedures for project review and consultation and proposed mitigation measures. Following the 30-day public comment period, the Programmatic Agreement will be finalized and signed ahead of the publication of the Record of Decision (ROD) scheduled for the week of October 21, 2019. The mitigation measures in the final Programmatic Agreement will be published with the ROD.
 
 
To view the FEIS online, please use the following link:
 
Comments to the FEIS will be accepted through October 7, 2019, and can be submitted online through the project website, via email using the email address below, or through regular mail at the below addresses. 
 
Send your comments about this FEIS to:
Name: Rebecca French, Director of Resilience
Agency: Connecticut Department of Housing
Address: 505 Hudson Street, Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: (860) 270-8231