FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What types of improvements are being considered?

A: The studies considered both interim and ultimate improvements. Interim improvements include adding travel lanes to the existing highway as well as interchange improvements. The ultimate improvements include adding Special-Use Lanes (SUL’s) such as express lanes to serve regional travelers, lanes for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or other transit modes, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes or High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. Additional improvements include interchange modifications or reconfiguration.

Q: How far into the future will the studies consider?

A: Along with these PD&E studies that consider the need for improvements through year 2035, FDOT has prepared a “vision” for the I-75 corridor. This vision took a long-range view (as much as 50 years into the future) to help establish goals for the corridor consistent with FDOT’s core mission of providing safe and efficient movement of people and goods. A Vision Workshop was held on February 9, 2009. Nearly 20 local groups were represented. Please click here to find out more information regarding the Vision Workshop.

Q: What are the FIHS and SIS?

A: The Florida Intrastate Highway System (FIHS) is a statewide highway network for high-speed and high-volume traffic movement. The Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) is a statewide network of high-priority transportation facilities including highways, airports, seaports, railroads, and bus stations.

Q: What Happens Next?

A: The Project Team has reviewed all public input received at the public hearing. They are currently documenting the Preferred Alternative and finalizing the PD&E study documents. The PD&E study is expected to be completed in the summer of 2010. The reports can then be sent to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for approval. Individuals on the project mailing list will be notified of the approved alternative. The project will move forward to the Design Phase, when detailed plans are prepared for construction. The FDOT has not programmed funding for this project within its 5-Year Work Program for Design, Right-of-Way (ROW), and Construction. The funding and timing for these phases may change depending upon funding changes with the Hillsborough and Manatee Counties Capital Improvement Plans.

Q: What is the Preferred Build Alternative?

A: The Preferred Build Alternative includes the widening or reconstruction of the existing highway towards the inside thereby moving a potential transit envelope to the outside. This alternative includes 3 Special Use Lanes (SUL), such as express lanes to serve regional travelers, and 3 General Use Lanes (GUL) which are separated by a 6-ft buffer in each direction. It also includes a median barrier separating northbound and southbound traffic. By widening to the inside, three lanes and the outside shoulder in each direction would be reused in the proposed typical along the majority of the approximately 25 mile project, resulting in a significant construction and right-of-way cost savings. Interchange modifications and reconfigurations at US 301, the Selmon Expressway, State Road 60, Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, I-4, Fowler Avenue, and Fletcher Avenue are also under consideration. Please click here to see materials that were on display at the public hearing.

Q: What are special use lanes and general use lanes?

A: The Special Use Lane (SUL) concept is basically an “interstate within an interstate” where a set of lanes within the interstate are separated from the General Use Lanes (GULs). The GULs can be used by any vehicle. The SULs and GULs are separated by a 6-foot painted separation which could include plastic pylons or other devices. Interchange access from the SULs may be provided less frequently than that of the GULs to ease travel for those making longer regional trips. The SULs may be managed by, tolling options, access, vehicle Type, and/or Vehicle Occupancy. Future studies would evaluate how the SULs are managed.

Q: Can the Interchange improvements be made before building
the SUL’s?

A: The preferred alternatives for these projects were considered to address future traffic projections for year 2035. Now that the preferred alternatives have been selected through the PD&E process, we are looking for opportunities for interim operational projects to ease existing or near-term traffic issues. Building the ultimate projects at one time will be very costly; therefore, the FDOT will consider building interim or separate parts of these projects over time, as smaller amounts of funds become available. These types of improvements could range from adding new lanes along certain sections of I-75 or the ramps, to altering traffic configuration or movements within some interchanges. These interim improvements will be coordinated with the ultimate conceptual designs to minimize reconstruction when the ultimate preferred alternatives are constructed. These interim improvements were shown in more detail at the public hearing.

Q: What are the environmental effects of the Preferred Alternative?

A: Potential impacts to the natural, physical, social and cultural environment were evaluated with respect to the preferred alternatives. As part of this process, several separate reports were prepared which document the anticipated impacts. These reports included: Wetland Evaluation and Biological Assessment Report, Water Quality Impact Evaluation Checklist, Contamination Screening Evaluation Report, Cultural Resource Assessment Survey, Noise Study Report, and Air Quality Technical Memorandum. Please click here to see copies of the Draft Study reports.

Q: Are there any impacts to parks or conservation lands?

A: Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act protects the use of significant publicly owned public parks, recreation areas, and wildlife and waterfowl refuges, as well as significant historic sites. Under this Act, a "use" occurs when a transportation project incorporates land from a Section 4(f) property or substantially impairs the use of that property without the direct transfer of property. Improvements at the Big Bend Road Interchange are anticipated to require partial use of county maintained properties classified/protected under Section 4(f). A display board was available at the public hearing to show the anticipated impacts to these resources in order to solicit public input on the FDOT's use of this property.

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Southern PD&E Study

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Q: What types of improvements are being considered?

A: The studies considered both interim and ultimate improvements. Interim improvements include adding travel lanes to the existing highway as well as interchange improvements. The ultimate improvements include adding Special-Use Lanes (SUL’s) such as express lanes to serve regional travelers, lanes for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or other transit modes, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes or High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. Additional improvements include interchange modifications or reconfiguration.

Q: How far into the future will the studies consider?

A: Along with these PD&E studies that consider the need for improvements through year 2035, FDOT has prepared a “vision” for the I-75 corridor. This vision took a long-range view (as much as 50 years into the future) to help establish goals for the corridor consistent with FDOT’s core mission of providing safe and efficient movement of people and goods. A Vision Workshop was held on February 9, 2009. Nearly 20 local groups were represented. Please click here to find out more information regarding the Vision Workshop.

Q: What are the FIHS and SIS?

A: The Florida Intrastate Highway System (FIHS) is a statewide highway network for high-speed and high-volume traffic movement. The Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) is a statewide network of high-priority transportation facilities including highways, airports, seaports, railroads, and bus stations.

Q: What Happens Next?

A: The Project Team has reviewed all public input received at the public hearing. They are currently documenting the Preferred Alternative and finalizing the PD&E study documents. The PD&E study is expected to be completed in the summer of 2010. The reports can then be sent to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for approval. Individuals on the project mailing list will be notified of the approved alternative. The project will move forward to the Design Phase, when detailed plans are prepared for construction. The FDOT has not programmed funding for this project within its 5-Year Work Program for Design, Right-of-Way (ROW), and Construction. The funding and timing for these phases may change depending upon funding changes with the Hillsborough and Manatee Counties Capital Improvement Plans.

Q: What is the Preferred Build Alternative?

A: The Preferred Build Alternative includes the widening or reconstruction of the existing highway towards the inside thereby moving a potential transit envelope to the outside. This alternative includes 3 Special Use Lanes (SUL), such as express lanes to serve regional travelers, and 3 General Use Lanes (GUL) which are separated by a 6-ft buffer in each direction. It also includes a median barrier separating northbound and southbound traffic. By widening to the inside, three lanes and the outside shoulder in each direction would be reused in the proposed typical along the majority of the approximately 25 mile project, resulting in a significant construction and right-of-way cost savings. Interchange modifications and reconfigurations at US 301, the Selmon Expressway, State Road 60, Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, I-4, Fowler Avenue, and Fletcher Avenue are also under consideration. Please click here to see materials that were on display at the public hearing.

Q: What are special use lanes and general use lanes?

A: The Special Use Lane (SUL) concept is basically an “interstate within an interstate” where a set of lanes within the interstate are separated from the General Use Lanes (GULs). The GULs can be used by any vehicle. The SULs and GULs are separated by a 6-foot painted separation which could include plastic pylons or other devices. Interchange access from the SULs may be provided less frequently than that of the GULs to ease travel for those making longer regional trips. The SULs may be managed by, tolling options, access, vehicle Type, and/or Vehicle Occupancy. Future studies would evaluate how the SULs are managed.

Q: Can the Interchange improvements be made before building
the SUL’s?

A: The preferred alternatives for these projects were considered to address future traffic projections for year 2035. Now that the preferred alternatives have been selected through the PD&E process, we are looking for opportunities for interim operational projects to ease existing or near-term traffic issues. Building the ultimate projects at one time will be very costly; therefore, the FDOT will consider building interim or separate parts of these projects over time, as smaller amounts of funds become available. These types of improvements could range from adding new lanes along certain sections of I-75 or the ramps, to altering traffic configuration or movements within some interchanges. These interim improvements will be coordinated with the ultimate conceptual designs to minimize reconstruction when the ultimate preferred alternatives are constructed. These interim improvements were shown in more detail at the public hearing.

Q: What are the environmental effects of the Preferred Alternative?

A: Potential impacts to the natural, physical, social and cultural environment were evaluated with respect to the preferred alternatives. As part of this process, several separate reports were prepared which document the anticipated impacts. These reports included: Wetland Evaluation and Biological Assessment Report, Water Quality Impact Evaluation Checklist, Contamination Screening Evaluation Report, Cultural Resource Assessment Survey, Noise Study Report, and Air Quality Technical Memorandum. Please click here to see copies of the Draft Study reports.

Q: Are there any impacts to parks or conservation lands?

A: Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act protects the use of significant publicly owned public parks, recreation areas, and wildlife and waterfowl refuges, as well as significant historic sites. Under this Act, a "use" occurs when a transportation project incorporates land from a Section 4(f) property or substantially impairs the use of that property without the direct transfer of property. Improvements at the Big Bend Road Interchange are anticipated to require partial use of county maintained properties classified/protected under Section 4(f). A display board was available at the public hearing to show the anticipated impacts to these resources in order to solicit public input on the FDOT's use of this property.