Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will the Suncoast Parkway 2 project move forward to final design, right of way (ROW) acquisition and construction?
The FDOT, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) is aware of the importance of the expansion of the Suncoast Parkway 2 to the surrounding community, however, the continued downturn of the economy has resulted in having to reassess the proposed tentative five year work program, as is the rest of the Department of Transportation. Based on statewide tax revenue forecasts, the FDOT has had to remove and reallocate its portion of the Suncoast funds to other projects. The FTE has updated its ridership and revenue forecasts and based on projected continued reduction in revenues the FTE is suspending (pausing) work on the Suncoast Parkway 2 project upon the completion of the 60% design phase.
2. Will environmental permits be obtained for the project?
As part of the completion of the 60% Suncoast Parkway 2 design phase, an Environmental Resource Permit application was submitted to the Southwest Florida Water Management District on July 7, 2009. Applying for environmental permits is normally performed at the 60% design phase, and is part of this stage of the design. FTE will be suspending (pausing) work on the Suncoast Parkway 2 project upon completion of the 60% design phase.
3. Will there be a public hearing for the Suncoast Parkway 2 design project?
Since the FTE is suspending (pausing) work on the Suncoast Parkway 2 project upon the completion of the 60% design phase, the public hearing scheduled for late spring 2009 has been cancelled. Work on the project is expected to resume once funding becomes available, and the public hearing will be rescheduled at that time.
The FTE held a Design Public Information Meeting on July 24, 2008 attended by more than 800 people at the Citrus County National Guard Armory, 8551 W. Venable St., Crystal River, FL 34429. Members of the public were able to view and comment upon exhibits from the project design, which at the time was approximately 30 percent complete.
4. Will economic stimulus funds be used to build the Suncoast Parkway 2 project?
The Suncoast Parkway 2 project is in design and about 60% complete. The recently passed economic stimulus bill is for projects that are construction ready and can start quickly to stimulate the economy. The Suncoast Parkway 2 project still has key milestones to reach before it is ready to move into construction. Therefore, it has not been considered for funding associated with the economic stimulus bill.
5. How do I find out if my property is going to be needed for the Suncoast Parkway 2 project?
Please contact Florida's Turnpike Enterprise Project Manager, Rebecca Bolan, at (407) 264-3416 or by email at Rebecca.Bolan@dot.state.fl.us for information on impacts to your property.
6. I have concerns about traffic noise. Will sound barrier walls be built as part of the Suncoast Parkway 2 project?
Noise analysis will be performed as part of the design process. This analysis will identify which areas along the alignment meet the criteria for sound barrier walls. The results of the noise analysis for the Suncoast Parkway 2 project will be presented at the design Public Hearing, which is anticipated to be scheduled for the late spring of 2009. The Public Hearing timeframe is subject to change based on the progress of design activities.
For more information on the noise impact assessment process, click on the link below to view an informative video. http://www.floridasturnpike.com/EMO/noisewall_300.wmv
7. Will the trail be extended as part of the Suncoast Parkway 2 project?
Yes. The design of the Suncoast Parkway 2 includes extending the existing Suncoast Trail for the entire length of the project. Trail amenities and other details including access points are being developed, but have not been finalized.
8. How many of my taxpayer dollars will be used to develop the Suncoast Parkway 2 project?
None. Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) utilizes the most cost-effective method – user fees – to support the construction, maintenance and improvement of Florida’s toll roads. All FTE roads are self-supporting, freeing highway or gas tax money for other needed road projects. No general or property tax revenue is used for Turnpike projects.
9. Will there be a wildlife crossing along the Suncoast Parkway 2?
Yes. A wildlife crossing is being designed in the area where the Annutteliga Hammock is located on both sides of the power lines between U.S. Highway 98 and County Road 480. This is the only location where a corridor of substantial habitat exists on both sides of the power lines.
10. I am concerned about air pollution – how will that be addressed on the Suncoast Parkway 2 project?
The environmental studies for this roadway will follow the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Clean Air Act, which require that air quality be considered. An air quality screening process is used to identify that the project, as designed, will meet established national air quality standards.
11. Have traffic and revenue studies been completed to determine the financial feasibility of the project?
The FTE is now proceeding towards 60% design plans for the Suncoast Parkway 2 project. Following completion of these plans, an economic feasibility analysis – including evaluating traffic and revenue projections – will be conducted.
12. Does the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners determine if the project will move forward to construction?
Yes. Local support for the Suncoast Parkway 2 project has been shown in the past by its inclusion in the Citrus County Comprehensive Plan. The Citrus County Board of County of Commissioners (BOCC) has stated they would re-visit the Suncoast Parkway 2 role in the Plan by a vote of the Commission some time in 2009. We expect that would occur after the environmental and economic feasibility analyses have been conducted. If the County Commission should vote against the Suncoast Parkway 2, they would then need to act on removing the project from the Citrus County Comprehensive Plan and address the consequence to the County’s transportation network. As previously indicated by the FTE, local support is a condition for the construction of the Suncoast Parkway 2.
13. When will construction begin on the Suncoast Parkway 2 project?
The construction of the Suncoast Parkway 2 is not funded in the FTE’s five-year work program. Prior to establishing such a funding year for construction, the economic and environmental feasibility requirements for the project must be completed, and the project must remain consistent with the approved Citrus County Comprehensive Plan. Work on completion of these steps in the process is ongoing.
14. I see several people in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway 2 alignment. Who are they and what are they doing?
As part of preparing construction plans for the project, FTE staff and consultants have been performing field survey, data collection, geotechnical borings, and similar required functions. The design consultants working for the FTE carry a letter stating their purpose along with contacts for further information. The consultants are required to give advance notice to property owners prior to performing work on their property.
15. When will the “Build” vs. “No-Build” decision be made?
The term “Build” or “No build” are Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) PD&E decision terms. The “Build” decision was made during the 1998 SEIR process and allows plans to move forward into design. The recommended alignment was included in the approved 1998 SEIR. Based on the recommended alignment the design process is ongoing. However, due to the amount of time that has elapsed since the approval of the 1998 PD&E study, a reevaluation is being performed in conjunction with the design of the project.
16. What is the FIHS System?
The Florida Intrastate Highway System (FIHS) was established in 1990 by the Florida Legislature and includes interstate highways, Florida's Turnpike, certain urban expressways, and major arterial highways. It serves high-speed and high-volume traffic movements and is considered the backbone of Florida's State Highway System. Additional information on the FIHS System can be found at http://www.dot.state.fl.us/planning/systems/fihs.