Q: What exactly is a PD&E Study?
A: A PD&E Study is the formal process that FDOT uses to ensure that consideration is given to mobility, engineering, design, project costs, environmental and social impacts and public input in the development of major transportation projects. The basic steps of a PD&E Study include data collection, development and analysis of the alternatives, development of project documents and final approval. Public involvement is a very important part of the PD&E process and there will be several formal opportunities during this study for the public to provide input on the project.
Q: What is being studied?
A: The SR A1A North Causeway Bridge (Bridge Identification Number 940045), which is a movable bridge located in St. Lucie County that was constructed in 1963. It spans over the Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW) connecting the barrier island to the mainland in the City of Fort Pierce.
Q: Why is this study being conducted?
A: In March 2016 the bridge was structurally inspected and received ratings providing justification for replacement. The superstructure and substructure of the bridge obtained satisfactory ratings, yet the corrosive condition of the bridge deck was deemed structurally insufficient. Additionally, the bridge does not meet all the navigational guide clearance requirements set forth by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) of 125 feet horizontal clearance and 21 feet minimum vertical clearance. The existing bridge has a vertical clearance of 24.9 feet but is deficient in horizontal clearance with only 90 feet between the fenders. The bridge operational characteristics were also analyzed. Based on drawbridge opening data collected, a little more than one third of the daily bridge openings take place during peak hour/peak volume traffic periods interrupting vehicular flow therefore categorizing the bridge as an area of concern operationally.
A previous study conducted in July 2011 recommended replacement of the deck as the most practical and cost effective solution to the this deficient part of the bridge structure. Nevertheless, due to the naturally corrosive environment which will continue to degrade the rest of the bridge structure, the insufficient horizontal clearance, and the poor operational characteristics of the current bridge, replacement of the bridge is recommended to safely and effectively maintain access between the mainland and the barrier island.
Q: What are the goals of the study?
A: Improved safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, improved traffic operation, and minimization of environmental impacts associated with improvements. To view the goals of the study in more detail, please visit our About the Study page.
Q. How can I get involved?
A: All PD&E studies require a Public Involvement Program (PIP) to inform and involve all interested public officials, citizens and special interest groups about the development of transportation projects. The PIP starts at the beginning of the study phase to get input from all concerned parties along the project corridor.
As the study progresses, interested people, property owners, groups, state and local officials, and government organizations will receive project-related information through newsletters, public information meetings, public inquiries, this website, and via a Public Hearing.
A Public Hearing will be held on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, with an open house at 5:30 p.m. and a presentation at 6:30 p.m. at the River Walk Center. If you would like to be added to the project mailing list, please provide your name and mailing address by clicking here. We welcome your comments!