The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has conducted studies to evaluate and document the proposed improvements to I-75 from south of Fowler Avenue in Hillsborough County to CR 54 in Pasco County. A PD&E Study was conducted for the I-75 segment from south of Fowler Avenue to south of SR 56 in Hillsborough and Pasco Counties, Florida. A Design Change Reevaluation has been approved by the FHWA for the remaining I-75 segment from south of SR 56 to CR 54 in Pasco County. The Reevaluation Study compared and documented the new approved design concepts to those contained in the I-75 PD&E Study that was approved by the FHWA on November 27, 2000. The combined length of these studies was approximately 13.9 miles.
The general objective of both Studies was to provide documented information necessary for the FDOT to reach a decision on the type, design and location of improvements to I-75. This study incorporated all recommended improvements contained in the FHWA approved Interchange Modification Report for I-75 at CR 581 (Bruce B. Downs Boulevard), hereinafter referred to as the I-75/CR581 IMR. This Preliminary Engineering Report has been prepared in accordance with the FDOT’s PD&E Manual, Part One, Chapter 9, and is consistent with the appropriate editions of the standard publications listed in Section 9-2.3.1 of the PD&E Manual. The preliminary engineering concepts reflect and are consistent with federal, state and local guidelines and planning requirements.
A Public Hearing was held on December 17, 2003, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with the formal portion beginning at 6:00 p.m., at the Florida Department of Transportation, District 7 Headquarters Auditorium.
Study Purpose and Need
The purposes of the PD&E and Reevaluation Studies were to determine the best options to meet future traffic requirements for the I-75 project corridor. This report documents information regarding the need for this project, develops the proposed improvement alternatives, and evaluates the socioeconomic, cultural and environmental effects of implementing these alternatives. The No-Build Alternative has remained a viable alternative throughout the study process. The objectives of this report are to:
- identify, research and analyze the various engineering and environmental factors which will be instrumental in the formulation of a design concept for the proposed improvements;
- analyze alternative preliminary engineering concepts; and
- document the public involvement program to date.
The PD&E Study addressed proposed improvements to I-75 from south of Fowler Avenue in Hillsborough County to south of SR 56 in Pasco County. The existing facility is typically a four-lane limited access highway. This Study evaluated six-lane and six-lane with auxiliary lanes typical section alternatives and a No-Build Alternative. A Design Change Reevaluation of Work Program Item Segment No. 258736 1 was approved by the FHWA for the I-75 section from south of SR 56 to CR 54. The previous PD&E Study, approved by the FHWA on November 27, 2000, evaluated adding two lanes (one lane in each direction) to the existing roadway from south of SR 56 to north of SR 52. This Reevaluation Study evaluated design changes within a portion of this original Study. In order to simplify the alternatives analysis, the I-75 project corridor was divided into the following study segments:
- Segment A – from Fowler Avenue to Fletcher Avenue
- Segment B – from Fletcher Avenue to 3,000 feet north of the Hillsborough River
- Segment C – from 3,000 feet north of the Hillsborough River to Bruce B. Downs Boulevard
- Segment D – from Bruce B. Downs Boulevard to the I-275 interchange
- Segment E – from the I-275 interchange to SR 56
- Segment F – from SR 56 to CR 54 All segments were evaluated to determine the effects of providing additional capacity to accommodate future traffic demand.