A Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study is a comprehensive study that evaluates social, cultural, economic and environmental effects associated with the proposed transportation improvements. The PD&E study allows the Department to reach a decision on the type, location and conceptual design of the necessary improvement along the Howard Frankland Bridge to accommodate future users in a safe and efficient manner. It represents a combined effort by transportation and environmental professionals who analyze information and document the best alternative for a community's transportation needs. The PD&E study efforts are accomplished by working in cooperation with other State/Federal agencies and local governments. This coordination allows the Department to better determine the effects a transportation project will have on the natural and human environment.

A PD&E study is conducted to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). During the study, we determine the location and conceptual design of feasible build alternatives for roadway improvements and their social, economic and environmental effects. A No-Build Alternative, which considers leaving the roadway in its present state with routine maintenance, remains a viable alternative throughout the study. A PD&E study is finalized when the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), reviews the documentation and recommendations and then provides a Location and Design Concept Acceptance.

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 this project.)

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.

The Howard Frankland Bridge project is currently in Step 2 (PD&E study phase). The study team has gathered information on various social and environmental resources in the project study area. These resources included residences, public facilities, and commercial buildings as well as wetlands, streams and floodplains; protected species; archaeological sites and historic structures; and contamination sites near the project corridor. The intent of the PD&E study process is to study each viable alternative to the level of detail necessary to accurately assess any potential impacts associated with the proposed improvements and to make a recommendation of the preferred alternatives. This process is mandated by federal and state laws.

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What Is A PD&E Study?
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The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried out by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) pursuant to 23 U.S. C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 14, 2016 and executed by the Federal Highway Administration and FDOT.
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