The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has conducted a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study to evaluating improvement alternatives along Gandy Boulevard (SR 600, US 92), also identified as the Gandy Connector, from east of 4th Street in Pinellas County to Dale Mabry Highway in Hillsborough County. The Gandy Bridge was excluded from the Study. The limits of this Study were within the cities of St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida.
Study Purpose and Need
The objective of the PD&E Study was to provide documented environmental and engineering analyses, which would help the FDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to reach a decision on the type, conceptual design, and location of the necessary improvements along the Gandy Boulevard (SR 600) corridor to accommodate future transportation needs in a safe and efficient manner.
This report documented the need for the project and presented the procedures used to develop and evaluate various improvement alternatives as they related to the transportation facility. Engineering data and information about the environmental characteristics of the area, which are essential to the alignment and analytical decision-making process, have been collected as part of the 1996 Gandy Major Investment Study (MIS) and is being updated as necessary. Once sufficient data is available, alignment criteria will be used to refine the alternatives. The comparison of alternatives is to be based on a variety of parameters using a matrix format outlined in the MIS Study Screen Two Evaluation Report and other factors identified during this Study effort. The MIS Study identified the alternatives that will have the least impact while providing the necessary improvements and is being refined in the PD&E Study phase along with the No-Build options.
Through the PD&E Study process, the FDOT is evaluating the improvement alternatives along the Gandy Boulevard (SR 600) corridor. The Gandy Boulevard (SR 600) corridor is primarily an east/west facility, which in its entirety, extends from a western terminus at Gulf Boulevard in Pinellas County to an eastern terminus at Bayshore Boulevard in Hillsborough County. The Gandy Boulevard (SR 600) corridor is functionally classified as an east/west principal urban arterial and is part of the Florida Intrastate Highway System (FIHS). The facility also serves as a major hurricane evacuation route for residents in Pinellas County. The proposed PD&E Study limits encompass a portion of Gandy Boulevard (SR 600) from east of 4th Street in Pinellas County to Dale Mabry Highway in Hillsborough County. This Study includes proposed full or partial interchanges in Pinellas County at: Gandy Boulevard and Derby Lane; Gandy Boulevard and San Martin Boulevard; Gandy Boulevard and west end of Gandy Causeway; and Gandy Boulevard and east end of Gandy causeway. In Hillsborough County, the proposed interchanges include: Gandy Connector and existing Gandy Boulevard/Marine Corps Base/Friendship Trail access; Gandy Connector and Westshore Boulevard (possible); Gandy Connector and existing Gandy Boulevard (near Dale Mabry); Gandy Connector/Crosstown Expressway and Dale Mabry. The Gandy Bridge over Old Tampa Bay is excluded from this Study, as it has been included in another study. The total length of the Study along the Gandy Connector is approximately 5.6 miles. This project has been evaluated in the MIS, which was initiated in 1996.
For PD&E Studies, projects are divided into segments based upon the existing land use, geometric configurations or interchange locations, and projected traffic volumes for the design year. Because the portion of Gandy Boulevard (SR 600) from east of 4th Street to Dale Mabry Highway have similar land use characteristics and projected traffic volumes, this project will be divided into two segments:
- Pinellas County Segment – East of 4th Street to west end of Gandy Bridge
- Hillsborough County Segment – East end of Gandy Bridge to Dale Mabry Highway