The Florida Department of Transportation, District 7 is re-evaluating the needed improvement of I-275 at the I-4 Interchange in Downtown Tampa as a part of the Tampa Bay Next project. The purpose of a reevaluation is to identify any changes to the original study documents, review new natural and social environmental impacts, and ensure any new federal laws are met. A main component of the re-evaluation is public engagement. The purpose of public engagement is to identify neighborhood concerns and look for ways to mitigate them. The reevaluation is sent to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for final approval.
Reevaluation Has Begun!
In 1987, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began the development of the Tampa Interstate System (TIS) Master Plan. The objective of this plan was to find alternatives and recommend travel improvements for the local area. The FDOT received FHWA approval of the TIS Master Plan in 1989 and later received approval of the plan’s environmental documents in 1996.
In March 2015, FDOT, District Seven started a Project Development & Environment (PD&E) Study Reevaluation for I-275 at I-4 Interchange in Hillsborough County. This study will update the environmental documents previously approved by the FHWA and evaluate the use of express toll lanes as a transportation improvement.
What is a Reevaluation?
The reevaluation, which began in Spring 2015, will compare alternatives versus the long term preferred alternative from the FEIS. The purpose of this reevaluation is to update the original environmental document approved in November 1996. The reevaluation process is used to document compliance with new federal laws and identify any changes that may have occurred on a project since the approval of the original environmental document. A reevaluation is used to update the earlier study, document changes in the design concept, reassess environmental impacts, incorporate commitments, and to maintain eligibility for future federal funding before the project advances to the next phase of project development. The reevaluation will also assess impacts of any new alternative options and compare them to the previously approved improvements.