44th Avenue East from 44th Avenue Plaza East (crossing I-75) to Lakewood Ranch

Design/Permit Status:

Manatee County’s consultant, HDR, Inc., prepared an Alignment Feasibility Study in April 2016 that provided recommendations for the roadway corridor alignment from 44th Avenue Plaza East to Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. The proposed alignment that is currently being designed is based on the recommendations provided in this study.

The project is being designed in two phases:

  • Phase 1 extends from 44th Avenue Plaza East to approximately 1,100 feet west of the I-75 right-of-way. The preliminary (100%) design plans for Phase 1 have recently been submitted to the County for a final design review.
  • Phase 2 includes the proposed 1-75 overpass and extends easterly from Phase 1 to the existing intersection of 44th Avenue East and Solutions Lane/Highland Links Street, west of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. The preliminary (30%) design plans for Phase 2 were submitted in April 2018, with preparation of preliminary (75%) design plans currently underway.

The consultant (HDR, Inc.) is continuing with regulatory permit coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for the bald eagle nests monitoring and mitigation; the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWD) for  the Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) application submittal and modifications; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for dredge and fill activities by way of a joint application with SWFWMD; the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) for modifications to the existing Manatee County Southeast Water Reclamation Facility pond in Phase 2; and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the aerial crossing of the I-75 right-of-way.

Land Acquisition:

  • Phase 1: Land acquisition is in progress for impacts associated with the 44th Avenue Plaza East connection, stormwater management, and access for the  Florida Power & Light substation.
  • Phase 2: Land acquisition needs will be determined as the design progresses.

Schedule:

  • Phase 1: Upon completion of the current final design review, the consultant, HDR, will prepare and deliver the final 100% construction plans, project specifications and project bid form.  The Manatee County Procurement Division will then prepare the construction bid documents with an anticipated advertisement for bids in mid-September.
  • Phase 2: 75% design preparation is currently underway, submittal date to be determined

Current Activities:

The consultant is coordinating with the Manatee County Public Works and Parks and Natural Resources Departments identifying wetland mitigation options for Phase 2 of the project. Coordination efforts continue with the FDOT/FHWA regarding the proposed aerial crossing of I-75 and with FDOT’s I-75 at SR 70 interstate project (scheduled letting date of February 2018). The consultant is also working with SWFWMD to finalize the wetland jurisdictional boundary limits for Phase 2.

The Consultant is currently revising the 100% Phase 1 construction plans based on design review comments made by Manatee County and preparing the 75% Phase 2 design plans.

Drainage designs include modifying existing permits in Phase 1 and incorporating joint-use possibilities with existing ponds adjacent to the Phase 2 project corridor. Coordination with Florida Power & Light regarding access to the existing substation in Phase 1 project limits is underway and right-of-way impacts and needs for temporary construction easements associated with Phase 1 are also being reviewed. The consultant is also engaged in utility coordination efforts for Phases 1 and 2.

Looking Ahead:

Phase 1 is anticipated to be advertised for construction bids in mid-September.  Project design and permitting for both Phases is ongoing. Land acquisition will continue for both phases.