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Project Details
Work Type: PD&E Study
Phase: PD&E
Start of Current Phase: Mid 2020
Est. Completion of Current Phase: Mid 2025

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District One, on behalf of Manatee County, is conducting a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study for a proposed shared use pathway through the City of Palmetto. The pathway is one of six transportation improvements proposed in Manatee County’s BUILD grant (now branded RAISE grant) applications, known collectively as the Palmetto Trails Network Plan (PTNP).

This study will identify alignments and alternative facilities, and evaluate the potential impacts associated with each, including the social, economic, and environmental effects that may result from the eventual construction of the trail.

The trail will expand the Martin Luther King, Jr. Trail and establish important community connections. It will also improve access to schools, parks, public transportation, jobs, and health services. The study will evaluate connections through the communities near Lincoln Park and Washington Park as well as connections to the area’s future regional trail network.

The Palmetto Trails Network Plan (PTNP) consists of a regional system of transportation improvements near US 41 within the City of Palmetto, Manatee County.

The project originally intended to evaluate Segments 1 and 2 according to the 2018 BUILD Grant. After some preliminary exploration identified necessary revisions to the original alignment of the network, these segments were replaced with the new Middle Segment and Northern Segment, respectively.

The Middle Segment includes the evaluation of critical trail segments between the Manatee County Area Transit Center, Palmetto Youth Center, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Trail, Lincoln Memorial Middle School, and Lincoln Park as well as the rehabilitation of the historic Lincoln Tunnel under U.S. 41.

The Northern Segment includes the development and evaluation of trail segments connecting Lincoln Park and Washington Park through the neighborhoods just east of U.S. 41.

Specific right-of-way needs will be determined during this PD&E Study, with any potential acquisition occurring during the project's future design phase.

Need for the Project
The purpose of the project is to reestablish multimodal, community connections throughout the City of Palmetto, Manatee County, that were previously lost through the construction of US 41. Other goals of the project are to 1) provide safe and viable travel options for the community to access area destinations and 2) support quality of life and economic objectives of the surrounding area. The need for the proposed project is based on the following criteria:

  • Area Wide Network / System Linkage: Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity
  • Safety: Provide Safe Multimodal Access to Destinations
  • Social and Economic Demand: Enhance Quality of Life and Support Economic Development

Overall, the proposed PTNP improvements are anticipated to:

  • Encourage private investment in disadvantaged neighborhoods
  • Promote healthy activities/lifestyle for local residents/trail users
  • Improve access to schools, parks, public transportation, jobs, and health services

Project Funding
There is currently no funding scheduled for design or construction; however, funding consistency will be achieved prior to the study's conclusion.

What is a PD&E Study?
A Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study is an environmental and engineering process development by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to determine social, economic, natural, and physical environmental effects associated with a proposed transportation improvement project. The process follows procedures set forth in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and federal and state laws and regulations. It requires the combined efforts of professional engineers, planners, and scientists who collect and analyze project-related information to develop the best solution for transportation needs. An Important component of the process is public and agency coordination. The basic of a PD&E study include:

Data Collection
The first major work effort is the collection of all available data pertaining to the study corridor including existing community characteristics, existing and future land uses, drainage patterns, locations of wetlands and habitat for listed and protected species, potential contamination sites, ares of historic and cultural significance and population demographics.

Alternatives Development and Analysis
Once the data collection is complete and the needs of the corridor have been determined, various improvement alternatives will be developed. For a trail project, these alternatives include the alignments, street crossings, and trail heads. The environmental impacts, social impacts and costs of these alternatives will be quantified and summarized in a comparative matrix.

Charrettes (small group meetings) began in February 2021. An In-Person Public Workshop was held on January 27, 2022, and a Virtual Public Workshop was held on February 1, 2022. A Public Hearing is anticipated in early 2025. Please check the Schedule Page for updates.

Final Acceptance
FDOT District One will submit the study to the Office of Environmental Management (OEM) for Location and Design Concept Acceptance after the study team receives and evaluates comments from the public hearing. The PD&E study phase of the project is completed once the project is accepted by OEM. The phases that follow PD&E study are design of the project, acquisition of right-of-way (if necessary) and construction of proposed improvements. 

Public involvement is an integral part of the Palmetto Trails Network PD&E Study. FDOT will use several activities to engage interested parties in the study process, including charrettes (small group meetings), a public workshop, and a formal public hearing. 

FDOT will hold meetings with agencies and stakeholders throughout the study. These meetings will assist the project team with identifying issues, opportunities, and potential transportation solutions for the corridor. Throughout the study process, FDOT will provide presentations to various organizations, and interested citizens may also request a presentation to their group or organization.


Project Newsletters
Kickoff Newsletter
Alternatives Public Meeting Flyer
Public Workshop Flyer

FDOT welcomes and appreciates everyone's participation in the project. Meetings are developed in compliance with the Title VI of the Civil Rights act of 1964 and related statues. Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, or family status.

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 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.

Overview Information
View these boards for basic information about the study and about the PD&E process.

Welcome Display Board - Welcome sign to be displayed at the in-person meeting

Title VI Display Board - Information for Title VI statue that this workshop follows, along with contact information

Schedule Display Board - See the current study schedule for all planned events for this project

What is a PD&E? Display Board - Read the basic definition of a PD&E study

RAISE Grant Vicinity Map Display Board - View General location of the BUILD (now RAISE) Grant corridor

Spring 2021 Focus Group Summary Display Board - Shares the questionnaire developed for the Spring 2021 focus groups and a summary of responses received

Alternative Boards
These boards focus on potential options for the proposed trail network alignment. These are the segments you will be providing feedback on in your comment or questionnaire in the next section.

Full Alignment Map Display Board - An overview map of all routes being explored for the trail based on the RAISE grant

7th Ave W: Segment A1 Display Board

17th St W: Segment A2 Display Board

Bridges to Dr. MLK, Jr Trail & 16th St E: Segment B1, B6 Display Board

13th St , US 41, Lincoln Tunnel: Segment B2-B5 Display Board

Lincoln Tunnel Display Board

16th St E to 19th St E: Segment C Display Board

6th Ave E: Segment D1 Display Board

21st St E to 25th St E: Segment E DIsplay Board

25th St E to 29th St E: Segment F Display Board

8th Ave E: Segment G Display Board

Additional Boards
Here are some additional boards to help with visualization for the questionnaire.

Facility Types Display Board - A visual example of a shared use path which is one of the facility types that will be evaluated in the project ares

Additional Considerations Display Board - Six additional questions to consider as you are reviewing the proposed routes

Virtual Public Meeting Presentation

Virtual Event Presentation - A copy of the presentation that was shown at the virtual event on February 1, 2022. (Note: This is a large file that may take longer to load)

Additional Resources

2018 BUILD Grant - The Palmetto Trails network is part of a BUILD Grant (now branded as RAISE grant) application submitted and supported by the County and Civic leadership

Washington Park - The present and future plans of this 88-acre park.

Lincoln Park - Fact sheet outlining improvement projects for the park

Lincoln Tunnel - A brief history of Lincoln Memorial High School and Lincoln Tunnel.

Spring 2021 Survey Mailer - Survey distributed in February 2021 during Charette round #1

Winter 2021 Questionnaire - Questionnaire distributed in December 2021

Public Involvement

A Public Workshop was held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 27, 2022, at the Palmetto Youth Center and the Virtual Public Workshop was held on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions
Click here to see answers to frequently asked questions.

The Palmetto Trails Network PD&E Study began in spring 2020 and is estimated to be completed by spring 2025. The project activities include data collection, development of trail improvement alignments and evaluation of potential social and environmental impacts in the community. Environmental surveys and development of the improvement alignments are currently underway.

Contact Information
We encourage you to participate in the Palmetto Trails Network PD&E Study and invite your questions and comments. If you have questions about this project or would like to schedule a meeting, please contact FDOT Project Manager, Michelle Rutishauser, at 813-498-5133 or by email at Michelle.Rutishauser@dot.state.fl.us. You can mail written comments and questions to: 

Palmetto Trails Network PD&E Study
Attention: Patrick Bateman, P.E., MS 1-40
Florida Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 1249
Bartow, FL 33831

View Factsheet
Contact Information
PD&E Project Manager
Michelle Rutishauser
For Media Inquiries Only
Project Images