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$1.7B project gets from NOI to ROD in 23 months: Highlights from the Hunts Point Interstate Access Improvement Project 

Friday, August 28
12:30–1:10 PM PT
 | 3:30–4:10 PM ET

About the Session

Executive Order 13807 Establishing Discipline and Accountability in Environmental Permitting for Infrastructure Projects of August 2017 outlines processes and requirements to expedite environmental review and approvals of major infrastructure projects. In March 2017, in anticipation of these expedited environmental goals, New York State Governor Cuomo announced the fast-tracked Hunts Point Interstate Access Improvement Project to address better access to the Hunts Point Food Market in the South Bronx. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process started in May 2017 and the Federal Highway Administration signed the Record of Decision (ROD) in April 2019. The $1.7-billion project will reduce traffic and improve access to critical locations including the Hunts Point Peninsula which houses the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center. The Food Distribution Center is home to 15,000 jobs, generates $5 billion in annual economic activity, and is larger than 400 football fields. Improvements will provide a more direct route for the 78,000 vehicles traveling daily to and from the Hunts Point Peninsula. As a result, truck and pedestrian conflicts at a series of intersections will be reduced. Intersections will be enhanced with pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly features. Community enhancements include improving Garrison Park, an underutilized property on the Bronx River, and adding a safe, new entrance to the Park, its new riverfront viewing platforms, and a new bicycle and pedestrian path linking to an adjacent riverfront green space, Concrete Plant Park.This session will explain how the EIS process synchronized with the new mandates to shorten environmental review times, proving that even the most complex projects can be delivered on drastically reduced schedules.


  • NEPA

About the Speaker

 Lawrence Smith Photo

Lawrence Smith, AICP
Senior Planner

Larry is a senior planner with Dewberry where he leads environmental teams in support of environmental impact studies pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and related federal, state, and local environmental acts and executive orders. Larry brings broad experience in leveraging his multi-disciplinary knowledge to the completion of large-scale and time-sensitive projects. Larry excels at streamlining the environmental review process. Additionally, he is an accomplished GIS practitioner experienced in integrating environmental studies with mapping to expedite the analysis and documentation processes, and to facilitate public outreach. Larry holds a master’s degree in environmental planning from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Binghamton University. He is a certified planner and a licensed professional planner in New Jersey.

 Erik Koester Photo

Erik Koester, PE
Deputy Regional Director for Region 11

Erik began his career as a Junior Engineer in the Region 11 Structures Unit, and has held various leadership positions in Region 10 (Long Island) and 11(NYC) in the delivery of the capital program. He played a key role in supporting the LIRR 3rd track grade crossings project for NYSDOT, and was the Regional Design Engineer in Region 11. In 2017, he was named Project Director for the Hunts Point and Sheridan Projects. He was responsible for ensuring that the Environmental Impact Statement was completed in 23 months for the Hunts Point project. He served as Acting Director of Design and most recently is the Deputy Regional Director for Region 11. Erik earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic University and has over 33 years of NYSDOT experience.

 Katherine Dewkett Photo  

Katherine Dewkett, PE

Ms. Dewkett has over 34 years’ experience in project management and civil/transportation engineering. She has been project manager on projects that included: transportation plans and studies, transportation infrastructure improvements, and bridge and highway design, stormwater management, erosion and sediment control, drainage design, environmental remediation, permitting, floodplain analysis, soil investigations, environmental review, site investigations, municipal water systems, and funding procurement as well as preliminary and conceptual design plans, property use feasibility, traffic, structural analysis and repair of existing facilities, site plans.

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