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SR 70 SWAT – from Lorraine Road to CR 675 (Waterbury Rd) PD&E Study

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Project Development

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Project Development - How the Process Works
Depending on transportation priorities, available funding, and complexities of the job, a project’s progression from planning to construction can take up to 15 years. FDOT follows federal and state requirements throughout project development and works closely with governmental agencies, partners and the local community to identify new projects and move them through the production pipeline. Planning, the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study, final design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction are historically sequential phases of production for projects.

This project is being developed using the StateWide Acceleration and Transformation (SWAT) project management approach, which aims to transform the project delivery to increase efficiency and savings. Under the SWAT approach, there is overlap between the design and PD&E phases – this helps to establish the project management and contract approaches and introduces time savings by allowing certain design phase activities to begin while the details of the recommended alternative are refined during the PD&E phase.

The ongoing and remaining phases of development for this project include:

PD&E Study
The PD&E process was developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to ensure that transportation projects are developed with consideration of current engineering standards, project costs and minimization of social and environmental impacts, while involving the public throughout the entire study process. The basic activities of a PD&E study include:

  • Data Collection. The collection of all available data pertaining to the study corridor including existing roadway characteristics, traffic counts, existing and future land uses, drainage patterns, locations of wetlands and habitat for threatened or endangered species, potential contamination sites, etc.

  • Alternatives Development and Analysis. Once the data collection is complete and the needs of the corridor have been determined, various improvement alternatives will be developed. Several alternatives, including the No Build alternative, will be considered and evaluated during the PD&E Study.

  • Alternatives Public Workshop. This workshop is held after the alternatives development and analysis has progressed to the point that viable alternatives have been developed. The workshop provides the public with an opportunity to view and comment on the alternatives under consideration.

  • Public Hearing. After the public comments are reviewed and the analysis of the alternatives has been refined, a formal public hearing will be held to present the “recommended alternative” to the public. The public hearing provides a forum for input from property owners and interested parties concerning the final recommendations of the proposed project. A final decision on the recommendations will not be made until after the public hearing.

The recommended alternative will continue to be developed and construction plans finalized as part of the design phase.

The design phase for this project is underway and began at the same time as the PD&E study; initial design activities include survey and right-of-way mapping. Once the conceptual plans for the recommended alternative are presented at the PD&E public hearing and the environmental documentation is approved, the Department and its consultant team will finalize the formal set of construction plans that are used to bid and build the job. The construction plans include design of the stormwater drainage system, traffic signals, lighting systems, median openings, structures, signs, utility plans (if relocations are necessary to accommodate highway expansion), as well as design of the road itself. The design phase is expected to be completed by late 2019/early 2020.

Right-of-Way Acquisition
FDOT may need to acquire property for construction of roadway improvements along SR 70 or to accommodate stormwater or floodplain compensation requirements. The Department will use details defined during the design phase to determine specifically how much right-of-way or additional land is needed for the project. In accordance with Florida statute, FDOT can only purchase property that is necessary for the documented transportation improvements and pays fair market value for any property or part of property acquired for road expansion. The department will notify property owners in writing if their land is affected and provide names and contact information for right-of-way agents managing this phase of the project. Additional information about FDOT’s right-of-way acquisition process may be found at http://www.fdot.gov/rightofway/Documents.shtm

After design plans are completed and right-of-way acquisition concluded, FDOT advertises the project for construction. Typically, construction work starts three or four months after FDOT hires the contractor (who must mobilize crews and arrange for equipment and materials). Construction jobs may take two to three years and sometimes longer depending on complexities of the projects. More information becomes available about a project’s construction schedule and crews’ approach to the work after FDOT hires the contractor.

For additional information on projects throughout Southwest Florida click SWFLRoads.com