Public Involvement Process
FasTracks has established a public involvement program designed to proactively and effectively seek and provide opportunities for stakeholder participation during the planning, final design and construction phases of the FasTracks program. Stakeholders are encouraged to be involved in the planning, design and construction of the FasTracks program. However, most opportunities for stakeholder involvement are provided during the planning phase of each project, as opportunities for change become limited after planning has been completed.
Following is a brief overview of the public involvement process throughout each phase of each FasTracks project.
Begins with Public Scoping meetings as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and ends with approval of a Record of Decision (ROD) or a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). Formal and informal opportunities for stakeholder participation and input are available during the NEPA process and public input can be very broad based. Public involvement is both a requirement and a critical part of the planning phase. During the planning phase, RTD typically performs preliminary design level plans, so input often focuses on the basic elements of the project and how it integrates into the community (e.g., horizontal and vertical alignment, end-of-line, station locations, parking facilities and spaces, bridge types, environmental impacts, etc.).
Final Design Phase
Begins after approval of a ROD or FONSI and ends when construction begins, unless a non-traditional project delivery method is utilized, i.e. design-build or Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC). Stakeholder participation and input during the final design phase becomes more focused and is generally limited to aesthetic design elements. Aesthetic elements include, but are not limited to, the appearance of bridge and wall treatments, shelters, barriers, fencing, landscaping, lighting fixtures and transition plazas. Design decisions relating to operations, functionality, durability, safety, and maintenance are made solely by RTD. Additional public involvement may also be needed to meet mitigation commitments in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) or ROD. Workshops will be held by the project teams to seek stakeholder participation and input in these areas. RTD will utilize various techniques (newsletters, Web site, public meetings, e-mail distributions, etc.) to keep stakeholders informed and engaged on these elements. The FasTracks Program is fiscally constrained and each individual corridor project budget is also constrained, so corridor budgets are to remain within the established commitment.
Begins with the selected contractor being awarded a construction project or phase of a project and ends when passenger service begins. Stakeholder participation and input during the construction phase is very limited due to cost and schedule impacts when changes are made. During this phase, communications to the stakeholders from the project teams will be more focused on construction and schedule impacts to the community. Changes will be limited to those that potentially impact the operations, maintenance and safety of the project.