In August 2020, ELR began the first Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study for the Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia Interstate Planning Commission (KYOVA) which is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Tri-State area of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. Key stakeholders providing technical oversight include Wayne County staff and Commissioners as well as the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH).This is the second PEL study in West Virginia.
The Harvey Road Connector project is located just south of Huntington, West Virginia. The project’s study area straddles the Cabell and Wayne County lines with the Cabell County portion being with Huntington’s City Limits. The goal of the project is to improve connectivity between Harvey Road and highway WV-152 (5th Street Road) in support of providing better east – west access for the benefit of enhanced public services (police, fire, ambulance, transit), improved roadway geometrics as well as support for tourism development along the WV 152 corridor.
In 2006, the PEL process was developed by the FHWA Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty to help agencies streamline their project development and environmental review processes through integrating their transportation and environmental planning processes. As such, the PEL process provides a strong foundation to advance a project towards implementation. It accomplishes this by identifying project goals and objectives, working with resource agencies, and engaging the public to identify and evaluate a range of alternatives. The PEL process then provides implementation steps, for these alternatives, to streamline the future NEPA process.
ELR is excited to be working with key stakeholders including KYOVA, Wayne County, Heritage Farm Village and Museum, as well as WVDOH planning and environmental staff.