City of Palm Coast
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Palm Coast Parkway 6 Laning Project
What is a PD&E Study?

What is a PD&E Study?

A Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study is an environmental and engineering process that was developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in order to determine social, economic, natural and physical environmental impacts associated with a proposed transportation improvement project. An important component of the process is public and agency involvement. The process follows all procedures set forth in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and Federal and State laws and regulations. It requires the combined efforts of professional engineers, planners and scientists who collect and analyze project-related information to develop the best solution for a community’s transportation needs. The process used in the development of the project is made up of several components.

These include:

  • Data collection
  • Corridor Analysis (including the no-build alternative)
  • Alternatives Analysis (including the no-build alternative)
  • Selection of preferred alternative(s)
  • Public and agency involvement

Data Collection

Data collection involves gathering the information through utilizing existing reports, the Geographical Information System (GIS), and field reviews that are needed to develop and evaluate the various corridors and alternatives. Some of the data gathered includes:
  • Traffic counts
  • Crash records
  • Existing roadway conditions
  • Identification of wetlands
  • Threatened/Endangered species habitat
  • Existing land use and property information
  • Census Data
  • Planned developments
  • Existing drainage systems and drainage patterns
  • Contamination sites
  • Archeological/Historical sites

Corridor Analysis

With the initial data collection, the first step is to identify potential corridors in which engineering alternatives will be developed. The corridor alternatives developed will be compared based on social and environmental impacts, costs and environmental mitigation. Public, local government and environmental agency comment and sentiment are also considered during this analysis.

Alternatives Analysis

Once the viable corridors are determined, several engineering alternatives will be developed within the corridors that will meet future travel demand and attempt to minimize impacts to the community and the natural and physical environment. The alternatives will be developed with input obtained throughout the study process from the public, local government and environmental agencies. The no-build alternative, or the alternative to make no improvements, will remain a viable alternative throughout the study. The alternatives developed will be compared based on community and environmental impacts, costs for design and construction, engineering inspection, right-of-way acquisition, construction and environmental mitigation. Public and agency comment and sentiment are also considered during this analysis.

Selection of Preferred Alternative(s)

Once the analysis of all the viable alternatives, including the no-project alternative, is complete and the public has had the opportunity to comment on these alternatives, a preferred alternative(s) will be selected. The preferred build alternative and the no build alternative are presented at a formal public hearing to solicit further comments and input. Following the completion of study reports, final documentation will be submitted for approval by FDOT District One Secretary. The project can then advance to the design, right-of-way acquisition and construction phases if funded.

If the study results in a Build Alternative selection, the project may proceed to the next phase, which is the Design Phase.

Five Steps in the Transportation Development Process

  1. Long Range Planning: The FDOT and local governments conduct long-range transportation planning on an ongoing basis to identify and prioritize individual projects.
  2. Project Development and Environment Study (PD&E): During this step, design options and their social and environmental effects are examined. (This is the current step for these I-75 projects.)
  3. Design: During design, detailed construction plans are prepared.
  4. Right-Of-Way Acquisition: This phase entails acquisition of necessary right-of-way, based on the construction plans.
  5. Construction: The roadway is built during this phase.
PDE Process

Public Involvement Program

A complete Public Involvement Program is conducted throughout the study process. The program is designed to make the public aware of the project and to solicit comments and input from the public during the development and evaluation of the alternatives and the selection.

Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) Study reports can be viewed in PDF format by clicking on the links below:

Final Approved Project Development Summary Report

Pond Siting Report

Endangered Species Biological Assessment Report

Contamination Screening Evaluation Report

Wetland Evaluation Report

Cultural Resources Assessment Survey

Air Quality Technical Memorandum

Noise Study Report

Traffic Memorandum and Appendices [April 2008]