The study area for this project encompassed an area of approximately 35 square miles in northern Hillsborough County and southern Pasco County. This area is bounded by Dale Mabry Highway on the west, S.R. 54 on the north, 1-75/1-275 on the east and a line one mile south of Van Dyke Road on the south.
The North Tampa Parkway was proposed as a four-lane divided, controlled-access facility. Typically, the roadway had a parkway character with a widened median for landscaping, ramps and frontage roads for parkway access and local travel and landscaped areas with paths 12 feet and 10 feet wide for bicycles and pedestrians, respectively, depending on the volume of traffic.
Study Purpose and Need
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) have identified the need to provide an east-west roadway connection between Dale Mabry Highway/U.S. 41 and Interstates 75/275 (I-75/I-275). Greiner Inc. has been retained to perform the necessary project development and environmental studies to provide documentation regarding the need, type, design and location of the project. The project is located in the vicinity of northern Hillsborough County and southern Pasco County. The geographical limits of the study area were from approximately one mile south of Van Dyke Road north to State Road 54 (S.R. 54) and from Dale Mabry Highway (S.R. 597)/U.S. 41 east to I-75/I-275.
The objective of the study was to identify viable corridors and prepare a series of engineering and environmental reports documenting the existing roadway conditions, right-of-way requirements, typical sections, environmental and social impacts, economic considerations and design analysis of the project. The study included evaluation of the S.R. 54 corridor as to its feasibility for an east-west connector.
An important step in the study process was the preparation of a draft preliminary engineering report, as presented herein. The purpose of the draft preliminary engineering report is to provide objective and complete documentation for reaching a decision as to the type, design and location of the east-west connector. This documentation included the analysis of proposed alternative alignments. Topics addressed within this report included existing physical features, need for the facility, future travel demand and conceptual design alternatives.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has identified the need to improve east-west travel in northern Hillsborough and southern Pasco Counties. Greiner, Inc., in association with Howard Needles Tammen and Bergendoff, Florida Transportation Engineering, Mesimer Faller and Associates, Piper Archaeological Research and Knight Appraisal Services, has been retained by the FDOT to conduct the necessary preliminary engineering and environmental evaluations to identify the need, type, design and location of a multi-lane east-west travel corridor to serve the anticipated population of the study area and the urbanized region in the year 2010.
The North Tampa Parkway study area was bounded by Dale Mabry Highway (S.R. 597) and U.S. 41 (S.R. 45) on the west. It was bounded by Interstates 75 and 275 on the east. The northern boundary was S.R. 54. The southern boundary, the only boundary which was not an existing roadway, was approximately one mile south of Van Dyke Road. The Parkway was proposed as a four-lane divided, controlled-access facility with interchanges for local traffic at Dale Mabry Highway, U.S. 41, Collier Parkway/Livingston Avenue and Interstates 75/275. This proposed east-west corridor was envisioned as a scenic corridor incorporating landscaping and other design amenities to provide a buffer area between the roadway and adjacent land use. Included with the development of the North Tampa Parkway were proposed improvements to provide and/or upgrade non-motorized means of travel (i.e., bicycles and pedestrians) through the use of bicycle curb lanes, bicycle paths, sidewalks, and recreational trails. In addition to the six proposed “Build” alternatives, two other alternatives were carried through the analyses process. These alternatives were the No-Parkway Alternative and the No-Build Alternative.
The No-Build Alternative provided for no improvements to the existing roadway system other than those improvements proposed in the long range transportation plans for Hillsborough and Pasco Counties. The No-Parkway Alternative provided for the same improvements as the No-Build along with additional improvements to enable traffic in the study area to operate at an acceptable level of service in the design year.
After careful analysis of the Build, No-Build, and No-Parkway Alternatives, the No-Parkway Alternative was selected as the preferred alternative. With this alternative, Dale Mabry Highway would be improved to a six-lane divided highway from Van Dyke Road north to U.S. 4!. An interchange would be designed to link the Veterans Expressway to Dale Mabry Highway just north of Van Dyke Road. U.S. 41 from Dale Mabry Highway to S.R. 54 would be a six-lane divided highway with an urban interchange at the intersection of U.S. 41 and S.R. 54. The “No-Parkway Alternative” assumes improvements to S.R. 54 under a separate project. S.R. 54 would be a four-lane, rural arterial with an extension added east of Cypress Creek, linking it to I-75 at the new proposed interchange for S.R. 54 and I-75.