By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
December 12, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency has altered the route of the Northeast Gateway project, after strong public engagement at open houses and community meetings.
The new route suggested by staff, called Corridor One, would extend Welaunee Boulevard to Roberts Road and extend Shamrock Street to Centerville Road.
Before the meeting, Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey said he is proud of the compromise.
"I think it's a prime example of when everybody truly comes together, truly works together, we can find a resolution to these issues. Look, if it was easy, we would've done it a long time ago, but sometimes it takes awhile for these to come to fruition and I'm really pleased with the outcome," said Dailey.
The recommended route would cost about $42 million dollars; the original option would have been $32 million.
Although the chosen route, Corridor 1, is more expensive than the original option, the funding for the new route is included in the budget.
The overall goal of the project is to reduce traffic on major roads such as Mahan and Capital Circle, and protect canopy roads such as Miccosukee and Centerville.
The Board scheduled a public hearing for January 16, 2020 at the Blueprint Citizens Advisory Committee and the second public hearing at the Blueprint IA Board meeting on January 30, 2020.
Five options were presented by Staff.
According to the agenda item, the stated purpose of the project is to (1) "improve regional mobility and enhance connectivity for motorized and non-motorized users," and (2), "reduce transportation pressures on surrounding roadways resulting from existing, ongoing, and proposed development on adjacent properties."
The first phase of the project, the PD&E study, began in November 2018; it is anticipated for completion in fall of 2020. That study includes a traffic analysis, as well as an analysis of social/economic impacts of the project.
The second phase involves design and permitting, and is expected to be completed in 2022, with construction beginning in 2023.