Environmental Impact Statement Goethals Bridge Replacement Logo
Glossary of Terms
Terms and acronyms commonly used in environmental reviews and documentation of proposed projects are listed below.

AM Peak Period: The morning period when the greatest of volume of vehicle travel occurs, usually between 6:00 and 10:00 AM in the New York/ New Jersey metropolitan area.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): A form of mass transportation that uses public roads, rights-of-way, and traffic signal priority to provide dependable, high-speed bus service.

Best Practice Model (BPM): A computer model developed for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council for use in transportation studies in the New York metropolitan area. The model covers a 28-county area in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Best Practice Model - Goethals (BPM - Goethals): A computer model developed by modifying and refining the BPM to provide greater specificity for forecasting travel demand in the Goethals Bridge/Outerbridge Crossing Southern Corridor. The BPM-Goethals, a modified version of the model was used for the GBR EIS.

Cable-Stayed Bridge:  A cable-stayed bridge is a bridge that consists of one or more columns (normally referred to as towers or pylons), with cables supporting the bridge deck. There are two major classes of cable-stayed bridges (i.e., harp or fan design) which are differentiated by how the cables are connected to the tower(s). The cable-stay design is the optimum bridge for a span length between that of cantilever bridges and suspension bridges. Within this range of span lengths a suspension bridge would require a great deal more cable, while a full cantilever bridge would require considerably more material and be substantially heavier.

Congestion Pricing: A toll pricing method used to encourage motorists with travel-time flexibility to travel during the non-peak commutation hours when traffic volumes are lower. Those traveling in the peak periods, when traffic volumes are greater, pay a higher toll than those traveling in the non-peak periods.

Commuter Rail Transit (CRT): Long-haul rail passenger service operating between metropolitan and suburban areas, within or across the geographical boundaries of a state, which is usually characterized by reduced fares for multiple rides, and commutation tickets for regular, recurring riders.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS): The draft version of the Environmental Impact Statement that documents the potential social, economic, and environmental effects of a proposed project or action and alternatives to it, and is released to the public and agencies for review and comment.

Design Life: Projected life (in years) of a new structure or structural component carrying the load (or weight) for which it was designed and under normal environmental conditions before replacement or major rehabilitation is expected.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): A report that documents the potential social, economic, and environmental effects of a proposed project or action and of alternatives to it.

Environmental Justice (EJ): 1) The fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, incomes, and educational levels with respect to the development and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Fair treatment implies that no person or group of people should shoulder an unfair share of negative environmental, health and economic impacts resulting from environmental programs.

2) A 1994 Federal executive order (Executive Order 12898) that requires involvement of minority and low-income populations in the project planning process and analysis of the effects of federal programs, plans and actions to identify any disproportionately high and adverse impacts on racial minority and low-income populations.

Federal Lead Agency: The Federal agency taking primary responsibility for preparing an environmental impact statement, as prescribed in 40CFR§1508.16.

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS): An environmental document that is prepared following close of the comment period for the DEIS, and incorporates changes to the project, analyses, and documentation reflecting pertinent agency and public comment on the DEIS. The FEIS includes documentation of substantive comments received on the DEIS.

General Purpose Lane: A lane of roadway that is used by cars, truck, and buses.

High-occupancy-vehicle (HOV): A vehicle, usually a car, bus, or van, that transports more than one person.

Light Rail Transit (LRT): An electrically propelled vehicle operated singly or in trains on predominantly reserved, but not necessarily grade-separated, rights-of-way. Compared to heavy (commuter) rail transit, LRT is characterized by smaller trains, shorter headways (time between trains on the same route), slower speeds, more frequent stops, and the possibility to operate in mixed traffic on surface streets.

Mean High Water (MHW): The average (mean) elevation of all high waters recorded at a particular point or station or over an epoch, generally 19 years.

Mean Sea Level (MSL): The average (mean) height of the surface of the sea for all stages of the tide over a 19-year period, usually determined from hourly height readings.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO): Federal highway and transit statutes require, as a condition for spending federal highway or transit funds in urbanized areas, the designation of MPOs that have responsibility for planning, programming, and coordination of federal highway and transit investments within their designated area. Two MPOs have authority in the bi-state study area for the EIS for the Goethals Bridge Replacement: the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA).

Mitigation: Planning of project design and/or construction to avoid, minimize or overcome adverse impacts.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): A law enacted in 1969 that established a national environmental policy requiring that any project using federal funding or requiring federal approval, including transportation projects, examine the effects that the proposal and alternative choices would have on the environment before a federal decision is made.

Notice of Intent (NOI): A notice published in the Federal Register stating that an environmental impact statement will be prepared and providing a brief description of the proposed action and possible alternatives, and contact information for obtaining further information about the project and preparation of the DEIS.

Project Sponsor: The agency proposing to build or implement a proposed project or action.

Scoping: A step in the EIS process that provides an opportunity for members of the general public, stakeholders, and others to comment on the purpose and need for a proposed project/action, the types of alternatives to be considered, and to provide input on the issues and concerns that should be addressed in the EIS.

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» Record of Decision (ROD) for Goethals Bridge Replacement Executed on January 31, 2011
» Final EIS (FEIS) Published in August 2010
» Preferred Alternative Selected – New Alignment South