The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District One has kicked off the much-anticipated Bradenton-Palmetto Connector Alternative Corridor Evaluation (ACE) Study. This ACE study will evaluate feasible corridor alternatives to connect the Cities of Bradenton and Palmetto across the Manatee River and improve regional multimodal mobility, connectivity, and safety for all users, including motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, trucks and transit.
The need for an improved access across the Manatee River was identified as part of the Central Manatee Network Alternatives Analysis (CMNAA) Study, concluded in 2019, which was a collaboration between FDOT, Manatee County, the Cities of Bradenton and Palmetto, and the Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
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ACE Studies are performed during the Planning phase to define project parameters, the project definition and the purpose and need for the project. The Bradenton-Palmetto Connector Study is part of the Planning phase of the project development process. The study will be used to identify, evaluate, eliminate and recommend project alternatives prior to the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) phase.
Purpose of the Project:
Evaluate additional capacity and transportation demand across the Manatee River as part of the regional transportation system. Secondary needs of the project are to enhance safety and multi-modal interrelationships.
Need for the Project:
- Increase roadway capacity
- Address anticipated transportation demand
- Increase safety
- Support modal interrelationships
- Phase 1 - Conduct an Alternatives Corridor Evaluation (ACE) Study
- Phase 2 - Conduct a PD&E Study
The Bradenton-Palmetto Connector Alternative Corridor Evaluation (ACE) Study will evaluate 10 corridors to address mobility, access and safety concerns including capacity limitations to meet future needs of the area.
The alternatives considered as part of this ACE Study are located in the Cities of Bradenton and Palmetto in west Manatee County.
The ACE Study will document the process for how each of the corridors are evaluated as well as the process used to identify reasonable corridors to advance into the PD&E Study.
As part of this process, the analysis will include a comprehensive evaluation of the natural, social, physical, and cultural environment; project cost; traffic; and the extent to which each corridor meets the purpose and need of this project. Coordination with resource and regulatory agencies, project stakeholders, and the community plays a crucial role in the ACE Study process.
Public meetings will be scheduled in 2024 so please check the website for schedule updates.
The Bradenton-Palmetto Connector ACE Study has a robust and transparent communication plan in place to truly engage the communities located in the project study area and make sure the study addresses concerns while developing community-sensitive project solutions.
Your feedback plays a critical role during the ACE Study and will direct the project development and decision-making process. We need to know your needs and concerns to determine the best solution for the community.
Send us your comments via the comment link: https://etdmpub.fla-etat.org/est/#
1. What is an ACE Study?
An Alternative Corridor Evaluation (ACE) Study is a planning process that identifies and evaluates corridors to recommend feasible alternatives that should move forward for additional analysis for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). ACE Studies take place during the planning phase of a project to determine the systems level planning and analysis and gather all the information needed to transition into individual project solutions and ultimately project programming and funding for design, right-of-way, and construction. The information gathered and analysis made during the ACE Study allows the project to transition into a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study, which evaluates the location and conceptual design of feasible alternatives that satisfy the project's purpose and need and their social, cultural, economic and environmental effects following the public hearing, a recommended alternative which includes the no build option will be selected.
Steps in an ACE Study:
- Identify Corridors
- Draft Purpose and Need Statement – Why do we need the project?
- Evaluate Corridors
- Is it consistent with Local Agency’s Long Range Transportation Plans?
- Is it consistent with City/County Comprehensive Plans?
- What are the potential impacts to the environment?
(Social, Natural, and Cultural)
- How well does the corridor improve safety and mobility?
- What is the project cost?
- Eliminate corridors with significant impacts
- Recommend Corridors
- Consistent with Purpose and Need Statement
- Move forward to PD&E
2. How does this project relate to Central Manatee Network Alternatives Analysis (CMNAA)?
This ACE Study is a direct outcome of the CMNAA analysis and public outreach, and it will take the next step in evaluating the 10 corridors. This study aims to eliminate certain corridors and recommend others to proceed to a PD&E study.
3. What other FDOT projects are underway in this corridor?
Current Area Projects
- 10th Avenue Complete Street Study [FPID: 433142-2]
- Palmetto Trails Network PD&E Study [FPID: 444857-1]
- Bradenton-Palmetto Connector ACE Study [FPID: 444843-1]
- Desoto Bridge PD&E Study [FPID: 442630-1]
- Sarasota/Manatee US 41 CMASS [FPID: 440154-1]
- US 41 Transit Choices ConOps
- US 41 Resurfacing from Edwards Drive to Magellan Drive [FPID: 444612-1]
- Cortez Corridor Visioning Plan
4. Will there be a public meeting?
Yes, there will be an Alternative Corridor Evaluation Public Meeting in Fall 2024.
5. How can I comment on the study?
We welcome your input. Email your comments to us through the page link here.