A brief explanation of the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study process is provided below. It will help you understand the process and track the progress of this study. The PD&E process was developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to ensure that transportation projects are developed through consideration of current engineering standards, project costs and minimization of social and environmental impacts, while involving the public throughout the entire study process. The basic activities of a PD&E study include:

Data Collection
The first major work effort is the collection of all available data pertaining to the study corridor including existing roadway characteristics, traffic counts, existing and future land uses, drainage patterns, locations of wetlands and habitat for threatened or endangered species, potential contamination sites, etc.

Alternatives Development and Analysis
Once the data collection is complete and the needs of the corridor have been determined, various improvement alternatives will be developed. Several alternatives, including the no build alternative, will be considered and evaluated during the PD&E study. The environmental impacts, social impacts and costs of these alternatives will be quantified and summarized in a comparative matrix.

Public Information Workshop
A public information workshop will be held after the alternatives development and analysis has progressed to the point where viable alternatives are identified and developed. The preliminary engineering concepts for the viable alternatives will presented at the workshop, which is tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2008. The workshop will provide the public with an opportunity to view and comment on the alternatives under consideration. With input received at the workshop, the project team will finalize the preferred alternative.

Public Hearing
After the public comments are reviewed and the analysis of the alternatives has been refined, a formal public hearing will be held to present the preferred alternative to the public. The public hearing will provide a forum for input from property owners and interested parties concerning the final recommendations of the proposed improvements. A final decision on the recommendations will not be made until after the public hearing – when the public has had an opportunity to review and comment on the preferred alternative. It is anticipated that the public hearing for this study will be held in the spring of 2009.

Final Acceptance
After the comments from the public hearing have been received, considered and addressed, the project reports are finalized and submitted to the Federal Highway Administration for Location and Design Concept Acceptance. Once this acceptance is granted, the PD&E study phase of the project will be complete. The phases that would follow the PD&E study include the design of the approved improvements, the acquisition of right-of-way, if necessary, and the construction of the improvements.