Burlington Railyard Enterprise Project

VTrans, City of Burlington, Vermont; Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission

The Burlington Railyard Enterprise Project (REP) is the FHWA Planning-Environmental Linkages (PEL) project to be executed in Vermont. PEL projects are designed to integrate the environmental resource investigations occurring early in project development in order to avoid duplicative effort within NEPA environmental documentation and, as a result, shorten project delivery time.

There are four key objectives of the Railyard Enterprise Project:

  1. To improve economic development opportunities within the project area which will be facilitated with the creation of a new street system;
  2. To facilitate multimodal connections between the light industrial/mixed use Pine Street neighborhoods with the Lake Champlain Waterfront;
  3. To enhance livability for the residents in the project area; and
  4. To improve access to the Vermont Railway Intermodal Yard, a nationally designated Intermodal Center.

The project engages a range of stakeholders representing residents, economic development interests, environmental groups, transportation advocacy groups, and governmental agencies such as FHWA, VTrans, and the City’s Department of Public Works. The project has developed over 30 alternative street systems and subjected these alternatives to a set of multimodal and environmental screening criteria, and to the key objectives of the Purpose and Need. The most attractive alternatives were advanced to a more refined level of design where specific impacts on environmentally sensitive areas such as historic/archaeological sites could be evaluated. Traffic impacts are being assessed using a calibrated microsimulation model of the study area.

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