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HDR Experts Explain How PEL Studies Can Improve Decision-Making and Efficiency on Transportation Projects

HDR’s Latest Experts Talk Interview Explores the Benefits and Details of Planning and Environmental Linkage Studies

Gina McAfee
Gina McAfee

Jason Longsdorf
Jason Longsdorf

Increasingly popular with state and local transportation agencies, planning and environmental linkage studies provide a streamlined process to help decision-makers engage stakeholders, identify critical environmental issues and analyze potential transportation solutions. But their chief benefit is to remove duplication between planning studies and environmental reviews, bringing transportation projects to construction more quickly.

PEL experts Gina McAfee and Jason Longsdorf explain these studies, discuss their benefits and address common questions about them in the latest interview in HDR’s Experts Talk series.

McAfee has more than four decades of experience in environmental work, including work on PEL studies in six states, as well as training and guidance materials for multiple departments of transportation. Longsdorf has over 20 years of experience on multimodal corridor studies and has worked on six PEL studies in two states.

“A PEL process is extremely useful to reach consensus on a transportation solution, to define a recommended alternative or alternatives (along with reliable cost estimates and implementation schedules) and to scope environmental issues to be addressed in a future NEPA process,” McAfee said in the interview.

Read the entire Experts Talk interview to find out when a PEL study is useful and when it isn’t, how binding decisions are and how it can aid in pursuing federal funding.

HDR’s Experts Talk interview series shines a light on various aspects of transportation infrastructure design and delivery. Each subject matter expert offers unique expertise and insights about new and ongoing trends, emerging technologies and the human side of infrastructure.

About HDR

For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans more than 10,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future. For more information, please visit www.hdrinc.com.