US 19 is the only continuous north-south general land service highway serving the populous west coast of the Pinellas/Pasco County area. The Florida Department of Transportation proposes to improve US 19 (SR 55) from SR 694 (Gandy Boulevard) in Pinellas County to SR 595 (Alternate US 19) in Pasco County.
This draft Environmental Impact Statement presents the information used to determine the type, design, and location of multi-lane improvements, interchange design concepts, and frontage road access control features along the US 19 corridor. Some sections of this future six- and eight- lane highway have previously been designed by the Department to reflect necessary roadway improvements.
Based on examination of improvement concepts, various build and no-build alternatives were identified and analyzed. The methodology used in analyzing the proposed alternatives is discussed in Section 2.0 along with the justification for the elimination of non-viable alternatives from further study.
Study Purpose and Need
US Highway 19 is the major regional facility within the Pinellas/Pasco coastal corridor. It serves abutting retail, commercial, residential, service land uses, and the established population concentrations of the two counties.
As a result of accelerated population growth within Pinellas and Pasco Counties, and the resultant high cross road traffic volumes, many segments of US 19 currently operate at unacceptable levels of service (LOS) during both peak and off peak hours of the day. A great demand for addition transportation capacity presently exists within the general area of US 19. To present an overview of the transportation needs within the context of the existing facility, the following discussion outlines the general characteristics of the US 19 corridor.
The proposed action involves multi-lane improvements including interchange designs and frontage road access to US 19 (SR 55). The project corridor extends from Gandy Boulevard (SR 694} in Pinellas County, Florida to Alternate US 19 (SR 595} in Pasco County, Florida, approximately 24.6 miles. The proposed action consists of improving US 19 to a six-lane freeway mainline with two-lane one-way frontage roads the entire 24.6- mile length, with the exception of a varying six- and eight-lane mainline from north of Nursery Road to Coachman Road. Interchanges and overpasses are provided at major cross streets.