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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Newport News Transportation Center Project

The Newport News Transportation Center Project (Project) aims to enhance transportation infrastructure in Southeastern Virginia by constructing two miles of new track, implementing a switch connection from the newly built track to the mainline, and carrying out essential earthwork and support structures, including the completion of culverts and construction of a retaining wall at the Lucas Creek crossing.

Currently, the existing train station has several deficiencies: inadequate parking, an asphalt ground-level platform area, lack of canopy for users, and ridership that exceeds its capacity. Located at the south end of the City of Newport News, trains are currently required to traverse miles of CSX Transportation (CSXT) track to access the station and the CSXT maintenance yard. This Project will alleviate that requirement and provide better access to the Newport News Transportation Center. 

The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA), as the Project grantee, received Congressionally directed grant funding under the Fiscal Year 2023 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program to fund construction activities for the Newport News Transportation Center Project.

Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

In 2016, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), conducted an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Newport News Transportation Center Project. FHWA invited the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to participate as a cooperating agency in the development of the EA on April 13, 2015. FRA accepted this invitation on April 24, 2015, and designated FHWA as the lead federal agency for the EA's preparation. FRA stipulated that if any Project funding came through FRA, the EA must adhere to FRA's Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 Fed. Reg. 28545). By participating as a cooperating agency, FRA ensured that the EA aligned with its procedures. FHWA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Project's EA on October 28, 2016. Subsequently, FHWA approved three National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) re-evaluations for the Project on March 2, 2017, December 10, 2019, and January 29, 2020. FRA completed a NEPA reevaluation in January 2024.

Relying on FHWA's evaluation as the lead Federal agency, FRA has also met the requirements under Section 106, Section 4(f), and related laws. The EA provided detailed analysis for FRA to decide that there is no need for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Newport News Transportation Center project as presented and has affirmed the continued validity and relevance of the environmental documents. On January 29, 2024, FRA signed a FONSI, which is accessible via the link below.

FRA Points of Contact

Environmental Review:
Mequela Moreno, Environmental Protection Specialist 
USDOT Federal Railroad Administration 
RRD-30 Office Environmental Program Management

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