A Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study is conducted to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. 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 PD&E study is finalized when the Federal Highway Administration, reviews the documentation and recommendations then provides a Location and Design Concept Acceptance.
A PD&E Study is required even if federal funds are not used. The Study would need to meet state requirements which are similar to federal requirement in analyzing the effects of the proposed improvements. The state equivalent document is called a State Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) or a Non-Major State Action (NMSA) and the document is signed by the FDOT District Secretary/ Delegated Authority or designee. The FHWA would not be involved in this process.
Five Steps in the Transportation Development Process
- Long Range Planning: The FDOT and local governments conduct long-range transportation planning on an ongoing basis to identify and prioritize individual projects.
- PD&E Study: During this step, various roadway improvement alternatives and their social and environmental effects are examined.
- Design: During design, detailed construction plans are prepared.
- Right-Of-Way Acquisition: This phase entails acquisition of necessary right-of-way, based on the construction plans.
- Construction: The roadway is built during this phase.
A reevaluation is the process used to document compliance with federal laws and to identify any changes that may have occurred since the approval of the original final environmental document. The reevaluation is needed for the purpose of updating the 1996 study, documenting changes in the current design standards, reassessing socio-economic and environmental impacts, and comparing any new alternative options with the previously approved roadway improvement.