|Recommendation Concerning the Beulah Alternative Corridor Evaluation Study - Joy D. Blackmon, P.E., Public Works Department Director
That the Board consider one of the following options for the Beulah Alternative Corridor Evaluation (ACE) Study:
A. Direct Staff to retain Corridor #s 5 and 7 (Corridor 7 with the North Option) in the Beulah ACE Report, with Corridor #7 as the Locally Preferred Alternative, and submit the report to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for review and acceptance; or
B. Direct Staff to retain Corridor #s 5 and 7 (Corridor 7 with the North Option) in the Beulah ACE Report, with Corridor #5 as the Locally Preferred Alternative, and submit the report to FDOT for review and acceptance; or
C. Direct Staff to eliminate Corridor #5 from the Beulah ACE Report and submit the report with Corridor #7 with the North Option as the Locally Preferred Alternative to FDOT for review and acceptance; or
D. Direct Staff to eliminate Corridor #7 with the North Option from the Beulah ACE Report and submit the report with Corridor #5 as the Locally Preferred Alternative to FDOT for review and acceptance.
|In the past, population growth in Escambia County was forecasted to occur primarily in the southwest portion of the county in the vicinity of densely-populated portions of Pensacola, west of the Pensacola Naval Air Station and on Perdido Key. However, due to several factors, revisions to the 2025 Escambia County future land use map reallocate much of the projected future growth to the central and north-central parts of the County. The Mid-West Escambia County Optional Sector Plan (Sector Plan) was developed in an effort to plan for that growth, consistent with county growth management policies. The Sector Plan was incorporated into the Escambia County Comprehensive Plan (adopted September 15, 2011, and approved November 4, 2011) through the 2010 Evaluation and Appraisal Report.
FDOT is currently preparing an Interchange Justification Report (IJR) for the Beulah I-10 Interchange Project, which is #2 on the FL-AL Transportation Planning Organization Long Range Transportation Plan – Strategic Intermodal System Project Priorities List.
Escambia County is undergoing the required Alternative Corridor Evaluation (ACE) Study process regarding the Beulah Alternative Corridor Project. ACE, a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirement, is conducted for various transportation project types regardless of mode (e.g. new alignments, major realignments, major bypasses, etc.), primarily to document the analyses (public involvement, cultural/environmental impacts, economic development impacts, cost and operation impacts, relief to parallel facilities, hurricane evacuation, etc.) performed to identify reasonable alternative corridors (7 proposed corridors for this specific project) to carry forward into future phases of the Project Development & Environment (PD&E) Study, and eliminate those identified alternative corridors that are deemed not viable options.
The Board, at its 09/21/17 regular meeting, directed Staff to eliminate Corridors #1, #2, #3, #4, and #6 of the 7 original alternatives, which Staff has done. Also, Staff will reflect the Board's current action in the final ACE Report prior to submitting to FDOT on the remaining corridors (#5 and #7 with the North Option).
The County has completed the ACE Study process, held the final ACE Study public meeting on October 30, 2017, and, after considering all factors and public input, Staff recommends Option C for Board action.
The final ACE Report will be available for public viewing at www.beulahbeltway.com shortly after the Board's action.
Once the ACE Report is approved, the County will begin the PD&E Study for the Locally Preferred Alternative, which will occur concurrently with FDOT’s IJR process.