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Suggested Citation:"Challenges Addressed by the TCAPP Process." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Pilot Testing of the TCAPP Decision Guide and Related Capacity Products: Hoopstick Creek, South Carolina. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22341.
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Figure 1.5. Live oak canopy approaching existing Hoopstick Creek Bridge. (Source: Google Maps Street View.) Challenges Addressed by the TCAPP Process The SCDOT currently faces challenges in environmental agency coordination and communication. Challenges are evidenced by frequent revisions to permit applications, agency comment letters, and frustrations at interagency meetings, known as Agency Coordination Effort (ACE) meetings. The SCDOT has realized improvements to communication and responsiveness of agencies by funding liaison positions at regulatory and resource agencies as well as conducting interagency meetings throughout all phases of project development and delivery. The ACE meetings have lapsed during the past 2 years. A pilot test of TCAPP on the Hoopstick Creek Bridge Replacement project is relevant because similar routine projects make up the majority of SCDOT Environmental Services Office (ESO) workload, while requiring a disproportionate amount of staff and agency time in the environmental process compared with a large or complex project. The SCDOT has recognized the need for improved coordination on projects like Hoopstick Creek Bridge Replacement. This pilot test focused on the environmental permitting/NEPA portion of the TCAPP Decision Guide. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) had not implemented an environmental permitting and NEPA merger process within South Carolina at the time of this pilot project. Therefore, the TCAPP Decision Guide for environmental permitting (ENV) had to be best fit for the Hoopstick Creek Bridge Replacement project. The following key decision points were used. • ENV-3: Approve Purpose and Need, Reach Consensus on Project Purpose; • ENV-4: Reach Consensus on Study Area; • ENV-6: Approve Full Range of Alternatives; • ENV-7: Approve Alternatives to Be Carried Forward; 10

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TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Report S2-C39-A1 titled Pilot Testing of the TCAPP Decision Guide and Related Capacity Products: Hoopstick Creek, South Carolina evaluates and proposes enhancements to the Transportation for Communities—Advancing Projects through Partnerships (TCAPP) collaborative planning tool. TCAPP is now known as PlanWorks. The report explores the tool’s value in providing guidance to facilitate project partners to work collaboratively toward environmental permitting decisions for South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) projects.


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