The Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study for CR 455 Extension covers the Study area from Schofield Road to Hartwood Marsh Road in Lake County, Florida. The Study area (shown below) is located partially within the City of Clermont and in unincorporated Lake County. The Project length is approximately 4.7 miles.
Lake County has identified the need to extend CR 455 as described in the 2030 Lake County Comprehensive Plan. Also, the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has included this project in the adopted 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan and subsequent amendments.
The following goals and objectives were defined for the CR 455 Extension PD&E Study.
PD&E Study Steps
The PD&E Study process is a blending of engineering analysis, environmental evaluations, and public and agency input. This process is used to develop transportation improvements that are technically sound, environmentally sensitive, economically feasible, and socially acceptable.
The PD&E Study process was developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in response to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 to ensure that transportation projects are developed with consideration of current engineering standards, project costs, and minimization of social and environmental impacts while involving the public throughout the study.
Here is a brief description of each key activity that will be completed for the CR 455 Extension PD&E Study.
Before alternative alignments and improvements are developed, the Study team needs to understand the existing conditions of the area as well as anticipated future changes. Information is collected from existing sources, as well as through field reviews and interviews with local leaders. Information that will be collected includes: existing setting (changes in elevations), existing roadway characteristics, traffic counts, existing and future land uses, drainage patterns, locations of wetlands and habitat for threatened and/or endangered species, historic features, and potential contamination sites. This background information provides guidance in placing the transportation improvements in the best location.
Alternatives Development and Analysis
Once the data collection is complete and the needs of the corridor have been determined, proposed alternatives will be developed. These alternatives will include the alignment of the proposed improved roadway, as well as what it will look like (number of lanes, sidewalks, etc). The proposed alternatives, including the "No-Build" Alternative, will be considered and evaluated during the PD&E Study. (The "No-Build" Alternative means that the established CR 455 Extension PD&E Study area remains as it exists today with no improvement.) The environmental impacts, social impacts, and costs of these alternatives will be quantified and summarized in a comparative matrix.
Alternative Concepts Public Meeting
The Alternative Concepts Public Meeting will present the alternative concepts and related evaluations. Input from this meeting, along with technical evaluations, will lead to the selection of a set of recommendations for the CR 455 Extension Study area.
Preferred Alternatives Public Meeting
The Preferred Alternatives Public Meeting will be held after the alternatives analysis activities and identification of preferred alternative corridors have been completed. The purpose of this meeting will be to present these results and to obtain comments on the preferred alternatives.
Selection of a Preferred Alternative
After reviewing the technical evaluations and the public input, a "Build" Alternative option will be developed. Study documents will be prepared focusing on the preferred "Build" Alternative, as well as the "No-Build" Alternative. This information will be presented at the Public Hearing. Lake County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) will make the final decision regarding transportation improvements in the CR 455 Extension Study area.
A Public Hearing before the Lake County BCC will be held at the end of the PD&E Study, in accordance with County procedures and with Part 1, Chapter 11 of the FDOT PD&E Manual. This Hearing will focus on the Recommended Alternative and will also provide a forum for input from property owners and stakeholders concerning the final recommendations of the proposed Project. A final decision on the recommendations will not be made until after the Public Hearing.
The technical work completed during the PD&E Study will be documented in a series of reports. The CR 455 Extension Draft Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) and supporting draft reports will be available for review before the Public Hearing, at the Public Hearing, and after the Public Hearing until the public comment period ends.
After the comments from the Public Hearing have been addressed, the Project reports will be finalized and submitted to Lake County for final approval. The Project will then be ready to move into future phases, which involve: design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction.
The Life of a Roadway Project
Projects must go through five steps before it becomes an open road. It may take up to ten (10) years for a project to go from an idea to being in place.