The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) conducted a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study for the improvement of Park Road from I-4 to Sam Allen Road and from Sam Allen Road from the proposed Alexander Street extension to Park Road in Hillsborough County, Florida. The total project length is approximately 2.5 miles.
The objective of the PD&E Study was to provide documented information and analyses to help the FDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reach a decision on the type, design and location of the necessary improvements to accommodate the future traffic demand in a safe and efficient manner. The PD&E Study satisfies the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other federal and state requirements in order to qualify the project’s future design, Right of Way acquisition, and construction phases for federal funding and implementation.
This report documents the information necessary to confirm the need for this project and develops and evaluates various improvement alternatives as they relate to the transportation facility. Information relating to the engineering and environmental characteristics essential for alignment criteria was set and build alternatives were developed. Comparison of alternatives was based on a variety of parameters using a matrix format. This analytical process identifies the build alternative that would have the least impact while providing the necessary improvements. The design year of the analysis is Year 2028. The No-Build Alternative was considered a viable alternative throughout this PD&E Study.
Study Purpose and Need
Park Road from I-4 to Sam Allen Road and Sam Allen Road from SR 39 to Park Road are two-lane rural roadways. A PD&E Study was completed on SR 39 from I-4 to US 301, with FHWA approval received on November 17, 2000. The Study recommended widening SR 39 from two lanes to four lanes. That Study (WPI Seg. No. 255099 1 and No. 256298 1) also recommended a new alignment for SR 39 to the west of the existing SR 39 by extending Alexander Street north.
The traffic volume for 2002 along Park Road was 8,300 vehicles per day (vpd), Sam Allen Road 2002 volume was 6,600 vpd. The projected traffic volume for the year 2028 is 17,700 vpd for Park Road and 14,100 vpd for Sam Allen Road. These projected traffic volumes are over the AADT limit of 13,100 vpd for two lane roads classified as “Transitioning into Urbanized”, with a minimum desired Level of Service “C”. To accommodate the expected continued growth in traffic, these roads will require four travel lanes, two in each direction.
The crash history from 1998-2001 for the project corridor was reviewed for high crash incident locations or other safety problems. Most of the crashes on the corridor were at the intersections of Sam Allen Road with SR 39 and Park Road.
Consistency with Transportation Plans
The Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has the responsibility of developing a Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for the county to serve the needs of the metropolitan area over the next 20 to 25 years. The adopted 2025 LRTP has identified these sections of Park Road and Sam Allen Road to be improved from two lanes to four lanes. The proposed improvements are consistent with the Hillsborough County Local Government Comprehensive Plan, the Hillsborough County MPO’s Long Range Transportation Plan, and the City of Plant City’s Local Government Comprehensive Plan.
According to population projections from Hillsborough County and the regional traffic model developed by FDOT’s Planning Department, travel demand is expected to continue to grow in this area, doubling from the present volumes by the design year. Much of the land in the area is undeveloped, with some low lying wet areas. Currently, there are mobile home parks on Sam Allen Road east of SR 39, which are being expanded on land adjacent to the road, and other residences. Park Road is mostly vacant land at present, with a new car dealership business recently constructed just north of I-4. The future land use of this area is planned to be mostly residential on Sam Allen Road and commercial on Park Road.
There are no rail, mass transit, or High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes planned for these local roads. There are no existing bus stops within the project limits; however, bus bays could be added at certain locations if bus service is started in the future.
The Recommended Alternative is a four lane divided typical section for both Park Road and Sam Allen Road.
Park Road’s recommended typical section is suburban, with two 12-foot travel lanes and five foot paved shoulders on each side of a 46 foot wide raised median. Ditches are used to convey stormwater to ponds. Five-foot sidewalks are proposed adjacent to the ROW line. This typical will fit within the existing 200 ft of ROW.
Sam Allen Road’s recommended typical is a modified suburban section with two 12-foot travel lanes, and a four-foot bicycle lane each side of a 26 foot wide raised median with four foot inside shoulders. Five-foot sidewalks are proposed adjacent to the ROW line. Four foot paved inside shoulders separate the inside travel lanes from the type “E” median curb. Swales are used to collect stormwater. Because the swales are not large enough to convey stormwater to ponds, an underground pipe system is to be used. This typical will fit within the existing 120-150 ft of ROW, except where the alignment has been shifted south at SR 39.
The Recommended Alternative for Park Road fits inside the existing 200 ft ROW width. However, some ROW will be required on the south side of Sam Allen Road on either side of SR 39 to continue four lanes through the intersection. This will require approximately 1.6 acres, land which is currently undeveloped. The realignment of the intersection of Park and Sam Allen Roads will require about 5 acres on the southwest corner of the intersection.
Approximately 19 acres of ROW is required for pond and floodplain compensation sites. The total ROW needed for the ultimate design (with the curve intersection realignment), including the Sam Allen Road realignment at SR 39, ponds and floodplain sites, is 29.1 acres. The total ROW needed for the interim design (T-intersection at Park and Sam Allen Roads) is 24.1 acres.
The realignment of the intersection of Park Road and Sam Allen Road was considered as part of this Study. This realignment would replace the existing T-intersection with a large radius curve between the two roads, so that traffic between Park Road and Sam Allen Road would become through traffic, with a T-intersection designed for Sam Allen Road east of the intersection. The intersection realignment is considered as the ultimate design, with widening Park Road and Sam Allen Road to four lanes as a T-intersection being an interim solution.
It is recommended that the intersection of Park Road and Sam Allen Road be considered for a traffic signal when the roads are widened to four lanes, whichever intersection option is selected. A signal warrant analysis should be done for this intersection during the design phase of this project.