NE Polk US 27 Mobility Study
L.K. Nandam, P.E.
District One Secretary
801 N. Broadway Ave.
Bartow, Florida 33830
Southwest Area Office
Need for the Study
US 27 is a regional north-south corridor and Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) facility that extends through Polk County. This study will examine the 32-mile stretch between SR 60 and US 192 in NE Polk County. Within the study limits, the US 27 corridor serves a mix of commercial, industrial, and residential land uses scattered adjacent to the corridor, resulting in a mix of local and regional passenger car and freight trips. Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) ranges from approximately 31,500 vehicles near Lake Wales to 57,000 near I-4 with truck traffic percentages that range from approximately 7 to 12 percent. US 27 connects trucks to/from South Florida, the Winter Haven/CSX Intermodal Logistics Center (ILC), SR 60, and other states.
The corridor is constrained by environmentally sensitive land by the Green Swamp, designated as an Area of Critical State Concern, on the west and environmentally sensitive land such as Reedy Creek on the east. This study includes looking at major connections to other east-west arterials, as well as possible future parallel routes in the region that may benefit or impact US 27.With the population of Polk County expected to grow by almost 400,000 between 2010 and 2040, a coordinated effort is needed to determine how best to accommodate the growth and future transportation needs in the area.
The purpose of the NE Polk US 27 Mobility Study is to engage local and regional project stakeholders to identify mobility needs, and establish planning goals and values that lead to implementation of improvement strategies. Through a collaborative regional consensus process, and together with stakeholders, a multimodal program of projects and strategies will be defined that will improve mobility, safety, and livability for all users, and with an emphasis on freight. Addressing congestion and mobility issues will require context-sensitive solutions that not only look at improving mobility and safety, but balance those improvements with defined community values. The study outcome will include a set of multimodal strategies and improvements that will be implemented by appropriate agencies.
Study Process Overview
The NE Polk US 27 Mobility Study will be conducted in three main phases:
- Phase I: Define the Problem – this phase includes interviewing project stakeholders and setting up a project advisory group, collecting data, and analyzing existing conditions and opportunities.
- Phase II: Define Guiding Principles – this phase includes defining the study’s overall goals and what measures of success will be used to evaluate progress.
- Phase III: Define and Select Alternatives – this final phase includes the development and evaluation of strategies as well as short vs. long term improvements for implementation by FDOT or local governments.