SR 82 Design from Homestead Road to Lee/Hendry County Line
Depending on local transportation priorities, available funding, and complexities of the job, a project’s progression from planning to pavement may take 15 years. FDOT follows federal and state requirements throughout project development and works closely with governmental agencies and partners and the local community as we identify new projects and move them through the production pipeline. Planning, the Project Development & Environment study, formal design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction are sequential phases of production for projects.
The Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has identified SR 82 as a transportation priority. FDOT also considers SR 82 a priority and emphasizes its importance as a Strategic Intermodal System corridor. With the MPO’s priority placed on this segment of SR 82, FDOT has funded production phases in its five year work program. As a whole, the work program is the state transportation plan and includes projects ranging from planning studies to construction jobs.
Project Development & Environment (PD&E) Study
The PD&E study is a federally required first step and evaluates engineering, environmental, social, historic and cultural effects a project may have, for example, and estimates costs for future phases of production. Involvement and comments from public officials, agency partners, and members of the community are essential. Need for the project is documented and alternatives for roadway improvement are developed. The “recommended alternative,” a conceptual design, is presented at a public hearing at the end of the study. Documents are then forwarded to the Federal Highway Administration for approval.The PD&E study for SR 82 from Lee Boulevard to SR 29, which includes the segment of Homestead Road to the Lee/Hendry County Line, finished in 2008.
The design phase moves the conceptual plan presented at public hearing in the PD&E study into a formal set of construction drawings to be used to bid and build the job. These final plans are very detailed roadway construction plans and include design of a stormwater drainage system, traffic signals, lighting systems, median openings, bridges (if the job includes structures), a plan for signs to be installed along the road, utility plans if relocations are necessary to accommodate highway expansion, as well as design of the roadway itself.
FDOT needs to acquire property to build the job from Homestead Road to the Lee/Hendry County Line. With details defined during design, FDOT can determine specifically how much right-of-way or land is needed to expand the roadway and build stormwater ponds. When more land, or property, is needed than the state already owns, FDOT acquires property in order to build roadway improvements on publicly-owned land (in other words, within state-owned right-of-way). In accordance with Florida statute, FDOT can only purchase property needed for transportation improvements, and FDOT pays fair market value for any property or part of property acquired for road expansion. FDOT will notify property owners in writing if their land is affected, and letters to affected property owners also will provide names and contact information for right-of-way agents managing this phase of the project. More information about FDOT’s right-of-way acquisition process may be found a www.dot.state.fl.us/rightofway/Documents.shtm.
After design plans are completed and right-of-way acquisition concluded, FDOT advertises the project for construction. Qualified contractors may bid on it. 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. After FDOT hires the contractor, more information is available about a project’s construction schedule and crews’ approach to the work.