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South Carolina Statewide Strategic Corridor System Plan

South Carolina has experienced rapid growth in population and development, placing increasing demands on its existing transportation network. To ensure an efficient and effective transportation system, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) initiated the development of a statewide multimodal plan encompassing a broad range of planning issues. The effort culminated in the identification of strategic corridors that provide a connected and continuous network serving the traveling public, as well as the needed connections for shipping and trade, which are essential to the economic vitality of the state.

Our team provided policy and system planning, public involvement, and geographic information systems (GIS) services for the development of the Statewide Strategic Corridor System Plan. The project involved developing policies and procedures for the statewide planning process, including the identification of the significant corridors. To ensure citizen and stakeholder involvement, our team worked closely with an advisory resource group and its subcommittees, which provided guidance and input throughout the process.

Through this planning effort, SCDOT was able to target its limited financial resources in the most effective manner with the goal of helping the state maintain its position in the global marketplace by efficiently moving both people and goods.

Related Services: Planning

Polk Rail Relocation PD&E Study

As part of the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study team, RS&H developed an environmental impact matrix to evaluate environmental impacts associated with the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Polk Rail Relocation PD&E Study.

We evaluated ten alternatives and a no-build scenario from an operations and environmental standpoint. We then used the Efficiency in Transportation Decision Making (ETDM) Environmental Screening Tool to produce a preliminary evaluation of alternatives, which we further refined with geographic information system (GIS) analysis.

We documented methodologies for both processes in technical memoranda, summarized the analysis results in an Environmental Impact Matrix, which was presented to the public, and produced  a detailed Environmental Impact Technical Memorandum for FDOT.

Related Services: Environmental

Transit Improvements Environmental Analysis

RS&H is working with Uptown Houston to help expedite the environmental clearance of two transit projects in Houston, Texas. The goal is to secure categorical exclusions for each of the projects from the Federal Transit Administration by early 2014.  

The first project is the Uptown-Bellaire Transit Center, a facility to consolidate local and express buses and park-and-ride facilities on a site adjacent to the I-610 and Southwest Freeway interchange. The second project is to develop a four-mile dedicated-lane bus facility along Post Oak Boulevard. The facility will serve a major commercial and residential district comprised of more than 24,000 residents and more than 100,000 employees.  

Both projects involve close coordination with the Houston Uptown District, Houston METRO, Texas Department of Transportation, and the Federal Transit Administration. Once completed, these projects will provide significant transit connectivity and service enhancements to the Uptown District.

Related Services: Planning | Environmental

Jacksonville Transit & Multimodal Development Plan

The City of Jacksonville’s Master Plan calls for the historic LaVilla District in downtown to become a vibrant mix of residential, commercial, and entertainment uses. Key to implementing this plan is the effective incorporation of transit and other multimodal facilities that will ultimately improve the sustainability of the area, as well as overall quality of life for Jacksonville’s citizens and visitors.

RS&H completed a study exploring the most appropriate locations for future land uses, rapid transit corridors, pedestrian circulation, parking structures, and other elements needed to make the area an efficient multimodal transit hub, while maintaining the city’s goals for redevelopment. We also examined the cultural heritage of the LaVilla District, once known as the “Harlem of the South,” for ways to incorporate the area’s unique historic and cultural aspects into the design.

The resulting Transit and Multimodal Facility Area Development Plan included incorporating the area’s vintage train station into a new multimodal hub with key components including the Jacksonville Convention Center, new parking structures, proposed bus stations for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and Greyhound, and an elevated Skyway terminal.

Related Services: Urban Design & Public Spaces

I-595 Corridor Improvements Study

Interstate 595 (SR 862) is the only east-west corridor in the heavily urbanized Southeast Florida region, linking Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Port Everglades, I-95, Florida’s Turnpike, and I-75. Increasing traffic volumes and congestion required improvements to the corridor that would ensure sufficient capacity to accommodate the region’s continued growth. In 2006, RS&H conducted a Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study to investigate improvements to east-west travel operations, capacity, and safety along 12 miles of the corridor.

RS&H developed the study in conjunction with several diverse interests in mind, including the surrounding municipalities and counties, local water management district, toll authority, and rail service. The team also considered other current and future projects in the region, as well as ensured nearby pristine wetlands adjacent to the corridor were protected from encroachment by the new or reconstructed corridor features.

The PD&E Study led to the selection of an ultimate system alternative that included a transit component, elevated reversible lanes, braided ramps and auxiliary lanes, a continuous connection for SR 84, and interchange improvements/upgrades along the corridor. Phasing of the corridor resulted in the development of 15 separate projects ready for design.

Related Services: Planning

I-277/I-77 Loop Strategy Study

RS&H completed a study to evaluate future capacity, operational, and safety conditions of the 6.5-mile I-277/I-77 Loop around uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. The results will be used to define projects within the 2040 Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization Long-Range Transportation Plan. 

This multipronged study included a technical traffic and safety analysis to address safety and congestion issues, as well as a focus on community planning and design to ensure compatibility and connectivity with the city’s vision of a multimodal “Center City.” We used microsimulation to analyze each system and service interchange, as well as ramp terminal and adjacent significant intersections.

Using our award-winning, four-tier funnel planning method, RS&H evaluated all possible interchange concepts for each interchange and identified a preferred concept. We also evaluated various innovative interchange types, including turbine, diverging diamond, and high five (five-level) interchanges, as well as two and three-level roundabouts.

Our team conducted client and public meetings and used various visualization tools to effectively communicate the complex ideas to project stakeholders.

Related Services: Visualization

H-GAC Subregional Planning

The Houston-Galveston Area Council, the regional planning agency and Metropolitan Planning Organization for the region, developed an innovative approach to subregional planning by integrating regional planning goals with those of local governments within the region. RS&H led this first-ever effort for the East Port area of the region. Because of its close proximity to the Port of Houston, one of the nation’s busiest ports, port and freight-related traffic and land use impacts are prevalent in the communities within the East Port area.

The East Port Subregional Plan focused on the assessment of current and expected future transportation and land-use conditions, as well as the development and evaluation of two alternative growth scenarios for 2040. The plan included a prioritized list of mobility improvements, including new and expanded roadway, transit, and hike/bike facilities.

RS&H developed an online “Best Planning Practices” toolbox oriented toward local government officials and citizens, which explains the range of planning tools, regulations, funding, and implementation tools. The tool box also provides approaches that can be used to accomplish the mobility and quality development objectives in the communities.

Related Services: Planning

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

A once overlooked space, the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is now an energetic hub of activity. Serving as the local Project Manager and Landscape Architect of Record, RS&H worked closely with the lead designer and City of Tampa, among other stakeholders, to redevelop this space into a new beautiful and open park.

Located along the Hillsborough River in the heart of downtown, the 8-acre park can hold over 10,000 people for events and includes a modern playground with electronic play features, a fenced dog run, and two fountains where children are encouraged to play.

During the design phase, we identified a number of sustainable solutions, including the use of reclaimed water for irrigation and drainage improvements that lower the amount of stormwater runoff. In addition, the construction team faced and overcame difficult subsoil conditions, as the site had been developed and redeveloped over the past 100 years.

The park was an essential step in expanding the city’s cultural arts district, as well as improving the livability of the city, and serves as a model for redevelopment.

Related Services: Urban Design & Public SpacesProgram ManagementArchitecture

Campbell Mapping Services

RS&H developed a service area map of the midwestern and southeastern United States showing counties serviced by Campbell Company’s ICEE™ distribution organization. The team then developed map books showing Campbell Companies land holdings.

To overcome the challenge of producing large-scale maps in a small (8.5 x 11) format with great detail, RS&H utilized ArcMap’s grid index layer feature. This encompassed all of the subject area’s land and divided it into grids of equal size. Using the data-driven pages tool, each grid became a large-scale individual page of the map book. The allowed users to clearly see features on an aerial photograph background and a US Geological Survey topographic map.

Our firm’s extensive ArcGIS experience allowed us to efficiently digitize features and develop complex maps for the map book. RS&H worked closely with the client to adjust maps as needed.

In addition to the map book, the team provided a web-based mapping application depicting the data provided in the map book. The mapping application, accessible on desktop and mobile devices, allows users to see the map features, as well as their physical location.

Natural Gas System Web Application

The City of Chireno, Texas wanted to develop and expand employee access to digital data. The city hired RS&H to develop an application that would be available on mobile devices, like tablet and smartphones.

Typically, our team has developed web mapping applications using Silverlight, but this software doesn’t translate to mobile devices. The team took a collaborative approach and developed the map in ArcGIS and developed an application using Web App Builder, which is accessible to city employees on mobile devices and allows users to see feature and user locations. City employees can see their own location and its spatial relation to features they need to inspect or repair.