RS&H conducted a project development and environment (PD&E) study for the widening of Fletcher Avenue in Tampa, Florida. Fletcher Avenue is a major urban arterial roadway linking businesses, neighborhoods, the University of South Florida (USF), and the University Community Hospital to I-75 in Northeast Tampa.
RS&H met with major stakeholders in the project corridor, including USF, Florida Hospital Tampa, and the Pepin Heart Institute, to learn current needs and future development plans. Using this information, RS&H developed a preferred alternative that will best serve the needs of the community and county. Pedestrian safety, for instance, is a major concern for USF since most of the student housing is off-campus, requiring students to cross Fletcher Avenue on foot or bicycle. To address this concern, RS&H developed a concept for a pedestrian bridge over Fletcher Avenue to improve pedestrian safety and reduce traffic congestion.
The preferred alternative provides a six lane urban typical section through the project. This typical section significantly reduced the right-of-way impacts to surrounding properties while allowing the roadway to be expanded to improve the level of service for the corridor. While the project could not be approved by the Federal Highway Administration due to funding issues, the project was completed to federal NEPA standards. Therefore, when funds become available for the next phases of the project, the county can submit the document for federal funding with very limited additional effort.