Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - February 23, 2016
February 23, 2016 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #42

2016 Transportation Project Priorities


Contact and/or Presenter Information
Clarke Davis, Transportation Planning Division Manager
941.708.7450, x7272

Action Requested
  1. Adopt "Table 1. Manatee County 2016 Transportation Project Priorities" and authorize Staff to transmit Table 1 to the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Florida Department of Transportation for the State's 2016 Work Program development process.
  2. Approve Section A of "Table 2. Comparison of 2035 and 2040 Cost Feasible Projects" as the major project priority list for Manatee County under the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan.
  3. Authorize Staff to coordinate with the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Florida Department of Transportation to implement the 15th St E project in sections with the 63rd Ave E to 49th Ave E section as the highest priority.
  4. Authorize Staff to initiate a work program amendment to replace the "Emergency Vehicle Priority System" project with an "Advanced Traffic Management System Fiber Network and Incident Monitoring" project.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Section 125.01, F.S., Powers and Duties, County Commission
Section 339(6), F.S., Powers, Duties, and Responsibilities, MPO

Background Discussion
The purpose of this item is to request Board action on 2016 transportation program priorities, major project priorities, and two specific projects. 

The Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) requests that each agency review its project priorities prior to MPO Board adoption. This report provides the staff-recommended priority list for 2016.   In general, project priorities selected for funding from this list will appear in FY21 or FY22 of the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) five-year program approved by the legislature in 2017.

Program Priorities

Table 1 shows proposed 2016 project priorities for the several funding programs available through the Metropolitan Planning Organization and State.  There is a section for new 2016 priorities and a separate section for the 2015 priorities that were not funded or were only partially funded in the most recent program.

The first new priority is for additional Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) improvements.   In the updated long range plan, there is a recurring allocation to ATMS similar to the congestion management system.   Staff's proposed priority is for additional monitoring cameras and vehicle detection Countywide.  These will enhance the County's ability to route traffic during incidents and to collect traffic data.

The second new project is a refinement of a prior year request for U.S. 41 in South County near the airport and the University of South Florida campus.  Previously, this project was a U.S. 41 multimodal emphasis corridor request for pedestrian crossings on U.S. 41.  For this year, staff recommends aligning this request with the lane elimination and complete streets project that has been under FDOT review.

Major Projects

In December 2015, the MPO Board adopted the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).  Adoption of a new plan has potential to "reset" the cost feasible plan, and this affects projects that are eligible for funding requests.   The 2040 LRTP update had some  impact on Manatee County projects.   "Table 2. Comparison of 2035 and 2040 Cost Feasible Projects" shows there are three projects that are no longer cost feasible with Federal funds.  Two of these (60th Ave E and 44th Ave E) are considered cost feasible with local funds, which means they could be funded by developers or through the County's capital improvement program.  The third (encouragement zone flyover) is not included in the cost feasible plan, but it is in the needs plan.  Staff recommends Board endorsement of the major project priorities resulting from the 2040 plan.

Updates on Specific Projects

15th Street East

The Project Development and Environmental Study (PD&E) is nearing completion.  Florida Department of Transportation expects to have a public hearing in April 2016 to select the preferred alternative.  It appears the preferred alternative will be the one that was also recommended by the County Commission.  This alternative includes a complete streets design for a two lane road with a center two-way left turn lane and a mix of roundabouts and signals at major intersections.  Design for the project is fully funded.  However, no subsequent phases are funded.  For the PD&E, the estimate of remaining phases is approximately $18 million for right of way and $46 million for construction.  The corridor is also 4.6 miles long.  To make the project more manageable for both funding and construction, staff recommends the Board endorse a staged approach.   With some room for refinement based on coordination with FDOT, the priority order for three main segments would be:

  • Center:  The first section would be approximately 63rd Ave E to 49th Ave E.  This would address a narrow section of the corridor with high bicycle and pedestrian activity and also reconfigure a complex intersection at 15th St E and 301 Blvd.
  • South:  The second section would be Tallevast Rd to 63rd  Ave E.
  • North:  The final section would be from 49th Ave E to 1st St.

Emergency Vehicle Priority System

The State has programmed this project for FY17.  The funded amount will be $1,631,700.  The project was requested by the County as an enhancement to the Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) controlled from the County’s traffic management center.   The project was intended to assist with emergency response in selected corridors by optimizing signal timing on a per-emergency-call basis.  The software and hardware require additional personnel trained to operate and maintain them.

The project was requested with the expectation that additional staffing for the center could be funded.  However, budget constraints have not allowed that to date.  The County finds itself in a situation where it should request the funding be allocated to a project that does not require additional personnel services to operate.   Therefore, staff recommend the Board support a request to re-allocate the funds to ATMS communication improvements. 

This would include expansion of the fiber network to reach more signals in north County and to install incident monitoring cameras.   The corridors include US 41, US 301, and Ellenton-Gillette Road.  These improvements will expand the capabilities of the ATMS and may rely on existing staffing and equipment in the traffic management center to operate.

Conclusion and Next Steps

County action on priorities is an important step in an approximate 18 month process.  Staff submitted draft project information to FDOT and the MPO on February 1, 2016.  After the Board's action on the priorities, staff will submit the adopted list to the MPO.  MPO staff will work with the advisory committees and MPO Board through spring to prepare a final list.  FDOT staff will use the adopted priorities during the Fall 2016 project selection and program development process for a work program that will go into effect July 1, 2017, and the Transportation Improvement Program the MPO Board will adopt in Summer 2017.

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Please return a copy of the approved agenda item to Clarke Davis
(941.708.7450, x7272, clarke.davis@mymanatee.org).

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Table 1 MC 2016 Transportation Project Priorities.pdf
Attachment:  Table 2 Comparison of 2035 and 2040 Cost Feasible Projects.pdf