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Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) initiated the Integrated Congestion Pricing Plan (ICPP) study in early 2011. The ICPP is a three-phase, comprehensive study to evaluate the potential for implementing congestion pricing on the Turnpike system with an emphasis on the large, urban areas of the state.
Phase I of the ICPP was completed in December 2011. Activities in Phase I included the development of the study goal and objectives, identification of various policy questions, evaluation of future roadway widening needs, and assessment of tolling plans for potential projects. In addition, some preliminary engineering evaluation was completed to help make recommendations regarding preferred design criteria. Several operational issues were also evaluated including tolling considerations and traffic management needs.
Phase II of the ICPP was completed in March 2014. This phase of the study was developed in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) who provided half of the funding through the Value Pricing Pilot Program (VPPP). The primary focus of Phase II was to evaluate the concepts developed in Phase I, and coordinate with the public and elected officials regarding potential projects. Specific Phase II study activities included the selection of two express lanes projects for implementation, development of a pricing policy for express lanes, and completion of conceptual engineering activities. Further tasks included evaluation of alternative modes of transportation, implementation of public information, outreach, and education activities, coordination with project stakeholders, and completion of a traffic and revenue study.
Phase III of the ICPP started in May 2014. The third and final phase of the project was designed to prepare a Master Plan for FTE’s congestion pricing program and to determine the economic impacts that the Integrated Congestion Pricing Plan would have on Florida’s state-wide economy. To this end, the IMPLAN economic impact modeling system was used to quantify both direct and indirect impacts which ripple throughout the economy of the entire state of Florida. This also calculates future economic benefits recognized from operating revenues.
The master plan uses many of the analyses obtained in Phase II including input from focus groups, stakeholders, and the planning-level traffic and revenue study results. Phase III defines the recommended order of projects, locations, pricing methods, toll plans, cost parameters, and the extent of multi-modal usage and impacts. In addition, the public outreach and coordination efforts that were initiated in Phase II continued through this phase.
During the development of the ICPP Study, Phase II, the Project Team had the opportunity to evaluate two major widening projects for express lanes as they were being added to the Turnpike’s Work Program for funding and implementation. The two express lane projects selected for implementation were the Veterans Expressway/SR 589 in Hillsborough County and the Turnpike/SR 821 in Miami-Dade County. These are two heavily-traveled facilities in their respective parts of the state, especially during peak hours. They are both currently under construction and are described below.
Veterans Expressway/SR 589
The Veterans Expressway/SR 589 is a four-lane, limited-access toll facility that extends 15 miles from west of the Tampa International Airport near Courtney Campbell Causeway, to Dale Mabry Highway/SR 580 in northern Hillsborough County. It is a major facility for serving commuter travel in the Tampa Bay Area and provides an alternative to the congested Dale Mabry Highway and the north-south section of I-275.
The project widens the facility from four to eight lanes, and includes adding express lanes between Memorial Highway and Hutchison Road, for a length of approximately 9 miles. The widening extends approximately two miles further to Van Dyke Road.
The project includes milling and resurfacing, the realignment of the Anderson Road ramps to alleviate congestion, and the construction of noise walls in identified, affected locations. Major bridge and storm-water drainage improvements will also be included. This facility was converted to All-Electronic Tolling (AET) on the entire length of the Veterans Expressway/SR 589 in phases starting from June 2014 through September 2014.
The eight laning of the Veterans Expressway/SR 589 through this tight urban corridor expands this facility to a full build-out condition with no future capabilities to widen it further. For this reason, it was essential to evaluate the inclusion of a congestion management strategy, in this case express lanes, as part of implementing the final widening of this road.
There will be one express lane and one general toll lane added in each direction of the Veterans Expressway/SR 589. Traveling northbound, the entrance to the express lane is located just north of Hillsborough Avenue. The northbound express lane terminates at Hutchison Road. Traveling southbound, the entrance to the express lane is located at Hutchison Road. The southbound express lane terminates at Memorial Highway. Express lane markers will be used to separate the express lane from the general toll lanes. This project is currently under construction, and is scheduled to be completed in 2016.
Veterans Expressway/SR 589
Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT)
The Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) in Miami-Dade County, is a 47-mile section of the Turnpike Mainline that begins at US 1 in Florida City, and extends north to Broward County, and then to a junction with the Turnpike Mainline/SR 91 at Miramar. Since this facility spans the largest and the most heavily populated urban area in the State, it has become an urban commuting facility and a long distance intercity highway and is subject to prolonged periods of severe traffic congestion, particularly during the peak hours of travel.
As with the Veterans Expressway/SR 589, the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) project will also be widened to a build-out condition with limited or no opportunities for future widening. Therefore, express lanes were included with this project to address current and future congestion. The overall widening of the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) can be divided into the southern and central sections for descriptive purposes.
The southern section adds one express lane in each direction from SW 288th Street/Biscayne Drive to the Don Shula Expressway/SR 874. In addition, the roadway section between US 1 and SR 874 will be widened by adding one to two general toll lanes per direction depending on the location. This project is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in 2016 enhancing the regional connectivity as part of the planned South Florida Regional Express Lane Network.
The central section adds two express lanes in each direction from Bird Road to the Dolphin Expressway/SR 836. Express lane markers will be used to separate the express lane(s) from the general toll lanes. This project is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in 2018. This express lane widening project will continue north from the Dolphin Expressway/SR 836 to I-75. The Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) lanes and the northbound off-ramp to Dolphin Expressway/SR 836 will be realigned to accommodate express lane direct connect ramps. Direct connect ramps for express lanes will be constructed between Dolphin Expressway/SR 836 to and from the east, and on the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) to and from the south. Flyover bridges will be constructed for the ramps.
Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT)
During Phase III, FTE added a third express lane project. The 8-mile Beachline West Expressway in Orlando will add one to two express lanes between I-4 and McCoy Road. The 4-lane section between I-4 and Consulate Drive will be widened to 8 lanes by adding two express lanes in each direction. The 6-lane section between Consulate Drive and McCoy Road will be widened to 8 lanes by adding one express lane in each direction.
Beachline West Expressway
Congestion management, as a component of these projects, provides a long term, sustainable solution to help ensure that they continue to serve growing travel demand well into the future. The use of express lanes is a very viable congestion management strategy for these facilities particularly for addressing current congested conditions. Express Lanes provide travelers with a choice to pay a higher toll to bypass congestion, instead of raising tolls in all lanes during peak periods of congestion.
The development of pricing policies regarding express lanes on the Turnpike System began in Phase II and continued through Phase III of the project in coordination with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Central Office. Some of these policies may differ between Turnpike and limited access express lane projects due to bond covenant restrictions on the Turnpike. This section covers the approved pricing policies on the Turnpike System express lane projects.
Toll Rates and Frequency of Updates:
Tolls in the express lanes will be collected electronically using mainline toll gantries. FDOT established a policy to implement dynamic pricing in express lanes on the Turnpike to maintain free flow traffic conditions. Dynamic pricing will be updated in 15-minute intervals, but more frequent updates may be necessary due to significant changes in roadway conditions (e.g., incidents, or traffic congestion).
Multi-axle vehicles (i.e., vehicles with three or more axles) are prohibited to use the express lanes, unless they are designated as emergency vehicles responding to specific incidents, used for the purpose of repair or maintenance of express lane facilities, or are authorized for emergency evacuation. All buses regardless, of the number of axles, or whether, they are public transit or public school buses or over the road motor coaches are permitted to use the express lanes, but will have to pay a toll. All other vehicles including High Occupancy vehicles (HOV), hybrid vehicles, and motorcycles are also allowed in the express lanes, but have to pay a toll. In addition, the only vehicles allowed to use the express lanes are those equipped with SunPass transponders (the state’s pre-paid electronic toll collection system), or an interoperable transponder. As such, TOLL-BY-PLATE customers are not permitted in the express lanes.
Express Lane Segment Definition:
An express lane segment is the distance between an entry point to the express lanes and the next point of exit (Example A below). If there are multiple entry points before an exit point, the segment is defined to be the distance between the first entry point and the exit point (B). If there are multiple exit points following an entry point, the segment represents the distance between two successive exit points (C).
Gantries shall be placed between successive entry points, between an entry point and an exit point, and between successive exit points, unless the entry or exit points are spaced less than one mile apart or physical constraints prevent the placement of such structures.
Gantries placed between successive entry points (i.e., data gantries) do not charge tolls, but rather collect transponder data to accurately account for the time to travel from the rate sign to the tolling point. All other gantries will charge the toll in effect at the time. Every segment has only one toll gantry that charges a toll. The minimum toll is $0.25 greater than the general toll amount at each gantry where a toll is charged.
Express Lane Gantry Placement
During Phase II of the ICPP project, public outreach and education was initiated. The major activities within this effort consisted of conducting ten focus groups and completing a stated-preference survey. Project reference materials consisting of an informational brochure, a video, and a website were prepared as part of this educational outreach process.
The public education efforts that were initiated in Phase II were continued in Phase III. FTE conducted presentations regarding express lane projects to project stakeholders and to the general public. The project video was updated to include results from the focus groups, updates on pricing policies, and detailed project information. The project website was updated regularly within Phase III to ensure that it continues to include the most current project information, as well as, FTE’s Master Plan. The Master Plan was created based on input from the focus groups, stakeholders, and planning-level traffic and revenue results to establish a list of candidate projects for FTE.
During Phase II, FTE began communicating the benefits of express lanes to project stakeholders which included staff at six FDOT district offices. FTE received positive feedback and support from the project stakeholders for the use of express lanes on the Veterans Expressway/SR 589 and the Turnpike/SR 821 projects. In Phase III, FTE continued coordination efforts with project stakeholders. During November and December 2014, information was presented to local Metropolitan Planning Organizations regarding these future planned express lane projects.
During Phase III, FTE presented information regarding express lane projects at five Public Hearings, which included, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Bartow, and DeLand. These meetings provided the general public with a better understanding of the express lane projects, and generated support for them.
In Phase II, a project video was created as an educational and promotional tool to help explain to the general public the concept of express lanes on tolled facilities as a congestion management strategy. This video was shown to the participants of the ten focus group sessions and was presented to project stakeholders as part of FTE’s public outreach effort. In Phase III, the video was updated to include results from the focus group meetings, pricing policies, preferred alternatives and details regarding the selected projects. The project video is available on the project website www.floridasturnpike.com/icpp.
During Phase II, a project website was created to house and share project information. It is located on the homepage of the Florida’s Turnpike website at www.floridasturnpike.com. It is also located as a link on the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Central Office Florida Managed Lanes website (www.floridaexpresslanes.com). This website includes information about Phases I and II of the ICPP Study, and was updated during Phase III to include the most current project information, FTE’s latest Master Plan, as well as project brochures, an interactive project map and a plethora of express lane resources.
The Concept of Operations (ConOps) addresses high-level system and operational issues of the FTE Express Lanes projects on FTE-tolled facilities. The ConOps will provide high-level information about each of the existing systems, describe stakeholder roles and responsibilities, summarize each system, and discuss the various operational scenarios that the system will operate under.
As stated previously, express lane projects are planned for the following corridors and limits:
- Veterans Expressway/SR 589 – between Memorial Highway and Van Dyke
- Turnpike/SR 821 – between SW 288th Street and I-75
- Beachline Expressway (S.R. 528) - between I-4 and Turnpike/McCoy Rd
Each corridor is separated into multiple construction packages and each express lanes segment may have staggered completion dates. These projects involve construction of express lanes that will be located in both directions and regionally interconnected where practical with other adjacent express lane corridors.
Existing System and Operations
The current tolling environment at FTE does not include dynamic or congestion pricing along FTE-owned facilities, however, FTE has long supported FDOT with the implementation and back office processing transactions of dynamic tolling corridors throughout the state, notably the I-95 Express implementation in Miami-Dade County and more recently I-595 Express in Broward County. With this in mind, FTE has a unique opportunity to identify and incorporate lessons learned from adjacent deployments. However, FTE also has the requirement for collection of tolls as a basis for continued economic viability of the organization. This component of the tolling operation for the express lanes will dictate some specific requirements where FTE response to an incident or event condition will not always align with those concepts already in place along adjacent corridors in other jurisdictions.
FTE has deployed Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) equipment along each roadway under its jurisdiction. All ITS devices are operated from the FTE Traffic Management Centers (TMCs) located at the Pompano Beach and Turkey Lake Service Plazas. Both TMCs operate 24 hours per day / 7 days per week, and use the Statewide SunGuide Software to monitor and control the field devices. FTE utilizes a network of fiber optic communications to connect the TMCs and their respective field devices. Both TMCs will be capable of operating devices on any express lanes corridor, and will have multiple operator stations with individual computers, monitors, and a large format video wall to assist in incident management and detection/verification. The ITS Program elements that are applicable to the express lanes projects include the field devices, software, and ITS Maintenance contracts. The field devices include Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras, Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), Microwave Vehicle Detection Systems (MVDS), Highway Advisory Radios (HAR), Citizens Band Radio Advisory System (CBRAS), and Travel Time System (TTS).
Software requirements span both the operations and tolling units at FTE. Traffic operations staff utilize the following two software packages in support of its traffic and incident management objectives:
- SunGuide® Software is used to control all ITS field devices noted above with the exception of the CCTV.
- SteelVision Operations Center software is used to pan, tilt, and zoom each CCTV on the system. In addition, this software is used by operators to drag and drop video streams on each video wall.
FTE staff are currently reviewing software packages to support the generation of the dynamic toll rates and the display of those rates to the customer. Currently, two options exist based on current regional deployments.
The Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Program will meet new challenges during the implementation of the express lanes. The TIM program consists of regular meetings with incident responders, first responders, local fire and emergency management agencies to better plan and effectuate prompt and proper incident response and scene clearance. FTE utilizes various quick response and quick clearance initiatives to ensure that its general toll lanes remain open and available to the motoring public. The programs include the Road Rangers, Rapid Incident Scene Clearance (RISC), and Specialty Towing and Roadside Repair (STARR) towing programs, and provide a solid baseline for the performance targets anticipated during the express lane implementation. These specialty incident removal programs provide evidence of their efficiency in the annual reduction in incident duration, incident response and incident clearance times. Challenges in express lanes operations include reduced access, reduced lane widths, minimal refuge locations, physical barriers, and reduced sight distance.
Concept for the Proposed System
The proposed system will provide an enhancement to the current flat rate toll fare structure, referred to as the “base toll”, which will facilitate an additional charge to the SunPass User account for use of the express lanes facility. The additional charge to express lane customers will be in response to real-time traffic demand, where applicable, or provide a “minimum additional toll” in accordance with current tolling policy. The express lane facility will provide free-flow travel that is typically defined as speed averaging greater than 45 miles per hour (mph), between system interchanges. A dynamic pricing scheme is used for the express lane toll to manage demand for the express lanes.
Operational scenarios are provided below covering four specific modes of operation: Normal Operations, Incident Operations, Maintenance Operations, and Special Event Operations.
Normal Operations include a typical day, where no incidents, or other events require special attention to the tolling rate determination. Normal operations also require that all systems are functioning normally.
Incident Operations include scenarios where an incident will impact the operational effectiveness for the express lanes, such as a lane blockage, full closure, etc., however, all systems remain working normally. Timely incident management and response will play a key role in the success and effectiveness of the express lanes implementation and utilization. Such incidents may occur in the express lanes or the general toll lanes.
Maintenance Operations encompasses ITS, toll, and roadway maintenance functions which may require temporary scheduled or emergency lane closures. To reduce impacts to the motoring public and lessen the impact of uncollected tolls, all preventative maintenance will be scheduled in off-peak, preferably overnight hours. Emergency maintenance during peak and/or daylight hours, shall be limited to items that prohibit collection of tolls, or preclude safe and efficient travel along the corridor. For these types of unscheduled emergency maintenance/repairs, all work shall be coordinated with the FTE TMC, FTE Traffic Operations, and FTE Toll Operations. Depending upon the nature of the maintenance work and the presence of a single or dual express lane, as well as anticipated traffic volumes, express lane corridors may be closed during Maintenance Operations.
Special Event Operations
Special Event Operations can be natural or man-made disasters, including, but not limited to: evacuations, floods, dignitary escorts, and police motorcades. For the purpose of this Concept of Operations, it is anticipated that each of the noted special event conditions, traffic volume, speed and density will not be typical nor commensurate with the basis for the tolling rate schedule, and therefore extremely difficult to predict the optimum tolling rate that maximizes revenues. With this in mind, during these special event operations, tolls in the express lanes may require manual adjustments including increased rates or zero toll override.
There are seven signs in the express lane advanced sign sequence. A three-line DMS, three advanced guide signs with a one-line DMS, two toll rate signs with a brick cut out DMS for each destination and one vehicle eligibility sign. The signs that are located on the mainline should be overhead and over the corresponding lanes. The three-line DMS, at the beginning of the sequence, shall be full color and full matrix. The one-line DMS on the advanced guide signs should be full color and should be the same width as the static portion. The DMS brick cut out on the toll rate sign should have space for seven to nine characters to allow for a “No Toll” or “CLOSED” message.
Advanced guide signs shall have the LEFT panel, if applicable. They shall have a “NO TRUCKS” panel, since trucks with more than two axles are not allowed in the express lanes. They shall have the “SunPass Only” message as well.
All destinations out of the express lanes shall be shown on the toll rate signs. All structures should be designed for a sign panel with three destinations, to allow for expansion. The toll violation message shall be shown on the toll rate sign.
The vehicle eligibility sign shall have an express lane panel, the message and the regulatory “no trucks” symbol.
Engineers may use engineering judgment when placing signs along arterial roadways that connect directly to the express lanes where space is limited.
Opened in stages between 1957 and 1974, the Mainline of Florida’s Turnpike System is 320 miles long. It consists of the 265-mile expressway between Wildwood/I-75 in Central Florida and Miami (Golden Glades), the 47-mile Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) in Miami-Dade County, and the eight-mile Beachline West in Orlando. The Mainline has five sub-components: Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT), Southern Coin System, Ticket System, Northern Coin System and Beachline West Expressway (formerly known as the Bee Line West Expressway). The Turnpike System also includes the Sawgrass Expressway in Broward County, Seminole Expressway in Seminole County, Veterans Expressway and I-4 Connector in Hillsborough County, Southern Connector Extension in Orange and Osceola Counties, Polk Parkway in Polk County, Suncoast Parkway in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando Counties, Western Beltway, Part C in Orange and Osceola Counties, and the Beachline East Expressway in Orange and Brevard Counties.
On July 1, 2014, the Turnpike purchased the eastern end of the SR 528, Beachline East Expressway, a 22-mile facility, from the Florida Department of Transportation becoming the second expansion project to be acquired. The Beachline East extends east from SR 520 in Orange County for six miles into Brevard County where it splits into two branches. The seven mile northeast branch becomes SR 407 and extends to a connection with SR 405, while the nine mile southeast branch continues as SR 528 to a connection with the Bennett Causeway at US 1. This facility connects the John F. Kennedy Space Center and the aerospace industry to Orlando and serves as a regional connector to Florida’s East Coast. Tolls are collected at the Dallas Mainline Plaza on behalf of the Turnpike on Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) owned section of SR 528, and at the ramps for movements to and from the east at SR 520. This is the second expansion project acquired by the Turnpike.
The funded Express Lane projects, currently underway along, the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT), the Veterans Expressway and the Beachline West Expressway were described earlier in this report. The additional Express Lane projects along Florida’s Turnpike System will be described below, along with a regional map showing the planned network of express lanes on the Turnpike facilities and the interstates.
The Northern Coin section of the Mainline is a 67-mile facility traveling from north of the Three Lakes Toll Plaza at Milepost 236 in Osceola County through Orlando and both Orange and Lake Counties to I-75 (MP 309) at Wildwood in Sumter County.
To facilitate access to the Turnpike Mainline, two new interchanges were added to the Northern Coin System (CR 470 in January 2005 and Kissimmee Park Road in January 2007). The CR 470 Interchange (MP 296) helps relieve congestion at the nearby US 27 Interchange. The Kissimmee Park Road Interchange (MP 240) is a partial interchange with tolled ramps to and from the north that provides additional access for the City of St. Cloud and helps relieve congestion at US 192.
- Widen the Turnpike/SR 91 Northern Coin from South of the Osceola Parkway to Orlando South - FPN: 411406-1, 411406-4
This project will widen the Turnpike’s Northern Coin from south of the Osceola Parkway to the Orlando South/US 17/92/441 ramps from four to eight travel lanes. These lanes will be express lanes and includes improvements to roadway geometry, storm water management, sound walls, pavement milling and resurfacing and right-of-way costs.
- Widen the Turnpike/SR 91 Northern Coin from US 441 to Osceola Parkway – FPN: 436194-1
This project will widen the Turnpike’s Northern Coin from Kissimmee – St. Cloud (US 192 and US 441) north to Osceola Parkway from four to six lanes. These lanes will be express lanes.
The Seminole Expressway (designated SR 417) is an 18-mile extension of the Central Florida GreeneWay (a major four-lane divided highway) from the Orange County Line to a connection with I-4 west of Sanford. The southerly half-mile of the facility, which opened in FY 1989, was acquired from the Seminole County Expressway Authority in April 1990. The next 11.5 miles north of the four-lane facility opened to traffic in stages between January and June 1994 and includes a two-mile bridge over Lake Jesup, which previously had been an impediment to mobility in Central Seminole County. The Turnpike constructed this portion of the facility with proceeds from the 1991 Bonds. In September 2002, the six-mile extension of the Seminole Expressway north to its terminus with I-4 was completed. This portion of the facility was constructed through a combination of federal funds, state funds, right-of-way bond funds, and a federally-funded State Infrastructure Bank loan.
From south to north, there are seven intermediate interchanges on the facility at the following locations: Aloma Avenue/SR 426, Red Bug Lake Road, SR 434, CR 427/Sanford Avenue/Lake Mary Boulevard, US 17/92, CR 46A, and Rinehart Road. With these interchanges, the Seminole Expressway serves the fastest growing areas of the county by connecting them directly to Sanford, Orlando, and the regional highway network.
- Widen Seminole Expressway/SR 417 from Orange/Seminole County Line (MP 37) to S.R. 434 (MP 44)–FPN: 429335-1 and 417545-1
This project will widen the Seminole Expressway/SR 417 from the Orange/Seminole County Line (MP 37) to Aloma Avenue (MP 38) from four to eight lanes, and includes pavement milling and resurfacing.
Central Florida Planned Express Lane Projects
Mainline – Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT)
The Turnpike/SR 821 portion of the Mainline extends west from the junction with the Southern Coin at Miramar then south to US 1 at Florida City, the gateway to the Florida Keys. Originally forming a beltway around Miami and other older coastal cities, such as Hialeah and Coral Gables, county development has since extended westward to and beyond the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT). The road has become an urban commuting facility, as well as a long-distance intercity highway serving commercial and recreational traffic.
- Widen Turnpike/SR 821 from I-75 to NW 106th Street – FPN: 435542-1 and from NW 106th Street to NW 74th Street – FPN: 435543-1,-2
The two projects widen the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) from I-75 to NW 74th Street from six to ten travel lanes. The four new lanes will be express lanes for a total of two express lanes and three general toll lanes in each direction. Work includes pavement reconstruction, milling, and resurfacing. Major bridge and storm-water drainage improvements, and noise walls in select areas are also included as part of these projects.
- Widen the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) from NW 74th Street to SR 836/Dolphin Expressway – FPN:435545-1; from SR 836/Dolphin Expressway to Bird Road – FPN: 415051-4
The two projects widen the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) from NW 74th Street to north of Bird Road from six to ten travel lanes. The four new lanes will be express lanes for a total of two express lanes and three general toll lanes in each direction. Work includes pavement reconstruction, milling, and resurfacing. Major bridge and storm-water drainage improvements, and noise walls in select areas, are also included as part of these projects. The Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) lanes and the northbound off-ramp to Dolphin Expressway/SR 836 will be realigned to accommodate express lane direct connect ramps. Direct connect ramps for express lanes will be constructed between Dolphin Expressway/SR 836 to and from the east, and on the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) to and from the north. Flyover bridges will be constructed for the ramps. Improvements will also be made at the SW 8th Street Interchange.
- Widen the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) from SW 216th Street to SW 288th Street – FPN: 423372-2
This project will widen the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) from SW 216th Street/Hainlin Mill Drive to SW 288th Street/Biscayne Drive from four to six travel lanes. This widening project will be completed by constructing one travel lane in each direction within the existing grassed median of the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT). These new inside lanes will serve as express lanes to enhance regional connectivity as part of the planned South Florida Regional Express Lane Network. Milling, resurfacing, and major storm-water drainage improvements are also included as part of this project.
Originally constructed by the Broward County Expressway Authority and opened to traffic in 1986, the Sawgrass Expressway was authorized by Section 338.2275(4), Florida Statutes (1990) to be acquired by the FDOT, and is now operated under the management of the Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise.
The Sawgrass Expressway (designated SR 869) extends westward from Powerline Road to the Turnpike at MP 71 and then southward to the junction of I-75/I-595, a distance of 23 miles. I-75 connects with Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) further south in Miami-Dade County. With nine intermediate interchanges, the Sawgrass Expressway serves Broward County communities (e.g., Coral Springs, Tamarac, Sunrise, Plantation, and Weston) as well as the developing areas in western Broward County. It is also a feeder route from these communities to the Gulf Coast via I-75 north (Alligator Alley), Miami via I-75 south, and Key West via I-75 and Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT). The Sawgrass Expressway provides access to the BB&T Center.
During the 1990’s, the Sawgrass Expressway experienced significant traffic growth. As such, the Turnpike widened the southern section from Sunrise Boulevard to Atlantic Boulevard from four to six lanes. Additionally, the Turnpike also widened the remainder of this facility from Atlantic Boulevard to the Mainline. In April 2014, this facility was converted to All-Electronic Tolling (AET). As such, only SunPass® or TOLL-BY-PLATE are now accepted for toll payment.
- Widen the Sawgrass Expressway/SR 869 from Coral Ridge Drive to State Road 7 - FPN: 435461-3
This project will widen a four-mile segment on the Sawgrass Expressway from Coral Ridge Drive to SR 7/US 441. This widening will increase the number of travel lanes from six to eight. The new lanes will be express lanes.
- Sawgrass Expressway/SR 869 Widening – FPN: 437153-1
This is a Project Development and Environment Study (PD&E) evaluating widening the Sawgrass Expressway from SR 7/US 441 (MP 18) to Powerline Road (MP 22).
- Widen the Sawgrass Expressway/SR 869 from Atlantic Blvd to Sunrise Blvd FPN: 437155-1
This project will widen a 7.5 mile segment on the Sawgrass Expressway from Atlantic Boulevard to Sunrise Boulevard. This widening will increase the number of travel lanes from six to eight. The new lanes will be express lanes.
South Florida Planned Express Lane Projects
The following section provides an outline for measuring the performance of express lanes. It is important to note that measuring performance could be based on two separate benchmarks: comparing express lanes to pre-build conditions and comparing existing express lanes on an annual basis. While similar in nature, the following measures and methodology are predicated on comparing express lanes to pre-build conditions. Accordingly, it is imperative to obtain the empirical data both pre and post build.
The performance measures are divided into logical groups, and for each measure, a description, data source, and performance target are provided. A tabular summary is provided in Table 1.
Mobility and Level of Service Measures
Traffic Volumes – A measure of the volume of traffic on the facility. The traffic volumes will be measured and compared to daily and peak hour conditions. The empirical data can be based on actual traffic counts or transactions. The target outcome of express lanes will be to maintain or increase traffic volumes on the facility.
Traffic Profile – An evaluation of traffic volumes in the peak hours versus off-peak hours. Based on the daily traffic counts, an hourly traffic profile will be created. With the addition of express lanes, it is desired to increase off-peak hour volumes while still maintaining or increasing the peak hour volumes.
Level of Service – A level of service (LOS) evaluation of the traffic volumes. The service volumes for the non-express lanes will be based on the FDOT Level of Service Handbook. The service volumes for the express lanes will be derived consistent with current express lane evaluation techniques. The LOS evaluation will be conducted for both the daily and peak hour conditions. The goal will be to maintain or improve level of service after the addition of express lanes to the facility.
Vehicle Types – A summary of the vehicle types (passenger cars, trucks, transit, etc.) on the facility. Empirical data will be obtained from manual counts or transaction data for both daily and peak hour conditions. The target outcome will be to increase the number of non-standard type vehicles on the facility.
Transit Routes – The number or frequency of transit routes on the facility. These routes will be acquired from the appropriate transit agency. With the addition of express lanes, a target goal will be to increase the number or frequency of transit routes on the facility.
Transit Ridership – The number of transit riders of express lane routes on the facility. The ridership values will be obtained from the appropriate transit agency. With the addition of express lanes, a target goal will be to increase the transit ridership along transit routes on the facility.
Average Travel Speed – The overall average vehicle speed on the facility. Travel speed data can be obtained by either empirical field data collection, GPS based travel time data, or derived from transaction data. The availability and/or reliability of data may dictate the source. With respect to choosing a data source, a primary goal will be to have a consistent data methodology for both pre and post express lane construction. The target outcome of the measure will be to increase the average travel speed on the facility with the inclusion of express lanes.
Average Travel Time – The average time spent between particular points of interest. For the purposes of this measure, the average travel time will be measured between interchanges on the facility. The source of travel time data is consistent with the Average Travel Speed measure. For this measure, travel times will be assessed in the peak hour / peak direction. The desired target will be to decrease average travel times on the facility.
Travel Time Reliability – Travel time reliability provides an indication of the reliability of trips on the facility in the peak hour and peak direction. The premise of travel time reliability is to compare travel time data, as detailed in the Average Travel Speed measure, to a benchmark. A couple of examples of comparison benchmarks would be a constant travel speed of 45 MPH or 10% of the posted speed limit. For this measure, an agreed upon travel time reliability equation will need to be consistent for both the pre and post express lane construction. The overall goal of this measure will be to increase travel time reliability on the facility.
Travel Time Variation – The standard deviation of travel times during the peak hour and peak direction. This measure provides an assessment of travel time data, as detailed in the Average Travel Speed measure, with respect to the standard deviation of the data points. The desired outcome will be to lower the standard deviation of the data points within the peak hour, which correlates to a more uniform distribution of travel speeds.
Toll Revenue – The amount of toll revenue collected on a monthly basis. Toll revenue data is commonplace at the Turnpike, and accordingly can be obtained through typical means. The target outcome of this measure will be to maintain or increase toll revenue on the facility.
Operations and Maintenance Costs – The costs associated with operating and maintaining (O&M) a facility for a typical month. The data for the costs may be difficult to obtain, and may need to be estimated. It will be important to derive an O&M cost methodology that is consistent for both the pre and post express lane construction. The desired outcome of this measure is that the introduction of express lanes does not significantly increase the O&M costs associated with the facility.
Overall Financial Impact – An overall assessment of the expenditures versus revenue of a facility for a typical month. There are two primary aspects of this measure: obtaining the overall financial impact both pre and post express lane construction, and comparing the net gains between the two scenarios. The calculation of this measure is based on the Toll Revenue and O&M measures detailed above. The desired goal of this evaluation will be that express lanes do not create a decrease in net financial impact.
Vehicle Crashes – The number of vehicle crashes on a facility on a monthly basis. The data for this measure will be obtained from the Traffic Management Center (TMC) monthly reports. The target goal for this measure is that the number of crashes decreases or remains the same with the introduction of express lanes on the facility.
SunPass Participation – The number of SunPass users on a facility on a monthly basis. The data for this measure will be obtained from the Turnpike Enterprise Finance Department. The target goal for this measure is that the number of SunPass users increases due to the perceived increased convenience of the express lanes, which will only allow SunPass users.
Traffic Violations – The number of traffic violations in and around the express lane corridors. The data for this measure would be obtained from Florida Highway Patrol records. The target goal for this measure is that the number of violations decrease after the introduction of the express lane on the facility.
Fuel Consumption – Measure of average fuel consumption before and after express lane construction. The data for this measure would be average vehicle fuel consumption rates (in gallons per mile). Vehicles traveling at higher speeds are typically more fuel efficient than those traveling at slower speeds, due to traffic congestion. With traffic models, the level of fuel consumption before and after express lane construction can be monitored. The target for this measure is a reduction in the per mile fuel consumption for vehicles traveling in the express lanes.
Air Quality – Measure of air quality before and after express lane construction. The data for this measure would be measurements of Carbon Monoxide, Hydrocarbons Nitrogen Oxides and Carbon Dioxide along the facility, comparing emissions before and after the implementation of express lanes. The target goal for this measure is a reduction in these four air pollutants that would be monitored.
Public Perception Measures
Public Awareness – Measure of public awareness of what express lanes are, and how they work. The data for this measure will be obtained by administering surveys to Turnpike users before express lanes are constructed and after construction. The target goal for this measure is that the percentage of Turnpike users that are aware of how the express lanes work will increase over time.
Public Acceptance – Measure of local public acceptance of express lane projects. The data for this measure will be obtained by administering surveys to the public, and potentially, via focus group feedback. The target goal for this measure is that the percentage of Turnpike users who support the express lane project(s) in the local area increases over time.
Public Perception – Measure of public perception of express lanes. The data for this measure will be obtained by administering surveys to the public to gain an understanding of the perception of the express lanes. The target goal for this measure is that the percentage of Turnpike users with a positive perception of the express lanes increases over time.
Transit User Perception – Measure of the perception of transit users of express lanes. The data for this measure will be obtained by administering surveys for transit users of the express lanes. The target goal for this measure is that the percentage of transit users that view the express lanes positively increases over time.
Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Measures
Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise contracted Economists to identify and quantify the economic impacts of the Integrated Congestion Pricing Plan located along the Turnpike’s SR 821 in Miami-Dade County and the Veterans Expressway, located in Hillsborough County. The purpose of this effort was to illustrate the value these transportation improvements have on Florida’s economy.
The projected work program outlined by Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise spans across multiple counties within the State. Ongoing spending and construction resources and materials may be sourced to multiple locations throughout Florida. As such, all economic impacts in this analysis were calculated on a statewide basis using the Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN) economic impact modeling system. In this way, the results of the economic impact analysis represent the direct and indirect impacts which ripple throughout the economy of the entire State of Florida, regardless of where physical construction takes place. This also recognizes future operating revenues may be spent throughout the state along the Turnpike system.
This economic impact methodology utilizes Social Accounting Matrices (SAMs) to capture the actual dollar amounts of all business transactions taking place in a regional economy as reported each year by businesses and governmental agencies. SAM accounts are a better measure of economic flow than traditional input-output accounts because they include “non-market” transactions. Examples of these transactions would be taxes and unemployment benefits.
Social Accounting Matrices (SAMs) can be constructed to show the effects of a given change on the economy of interest. These are called Multiplier Models. Multiplier Models study the impacts of a user-specified change in the chosen economy for 440 different industries. Because the Multiplier Models are built directly from the region specific Social Accounting Matrices, they will reflect the region’s unique structure and trade situation.
Multiplier Models are the framework for building impact analysis questions. Derived mathematically, these models estimate the magnitude and distribution of economic impacts, and measure three types of effects which are displayed in the final report. These are the direct, indirect, and induced changes within the economy. Direct effects are determined by the Event as defined by the user (i.e. a $10 million dollar order is a $10 million dollar direct effect). The indirect effects are determined by the amount of the direct effect spent within the study region on supplies, services, labor and taxes. Finally the induced effect measures the money that is re-spent in the study area as a result of spending from the indirect effect. Each of these steps recognizes an important leakage from the economic study region spent on purchases outside of the defined area. Eventually these leakages will stop the cycle.
The Turnpike work program being examined has been divided into two distinct categories: (1) widening projects on Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) and the Veterans Expressway; and (2) express lanes on which congestion pricing plans will be implemented. The Consultant analyzed the economic impacts of widening alone and widening with express lanes.
As shown in Table 2, the widening will be responsible for $574 million in direct construction spending within the State of Florida. This spending will directly generate an annual average of over 763 construction jobs across the State between 2013 and 2017. As the direct spending ripples through the Florida economy, it will generate $1.1 billion in total economic output and be responsible for approximately $391 million in employee wages. The direct and indirect effects of the construction activity will employ on average 1,546 persons annually during the construction period from 2013 and 2017 inclusive.
Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) and Veterans Expressway
Construction Widening Impacts (2013 - 2017)
Source: Fishkind and Associates, Inc. & IMPLAN Copyright 2014
As shown in the Table 3, the widening plus express lane construction will be responsible for nearly $623 million in direct construction spending within the State of Florida. Added spending occurs in this scenario to provide access points, directional and pricing signage and traffic monitoring which enables the implementation of congestion pricing on designated lanes. This spending will directly generate an annual average of over 826 jobs across the State between 2013 and 2017. As the direct spending ripples through the Florida economy, it will generate almost $1.2 billion in total economic output and be responsible for $424 million in employee wages. The direct and indirect effects of the construction activity will employ on average 1,676 persons annually during the five year construction period from 2013 to 2017 inclusive.
Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) and Veterans Expressway
Construction Widening Plus Express Lanes Impacts (2013 - 2017)
Source: Fishkind and Associates, Inc. & IMPLAN Copyright 2014
Ongoing economic impacts will occur through toll revenue generation from the additional lanes built, plus supplemental revenue from congestion pricing plans. In addition, there is a monetary value of time savings associated with implementation of congestion pricing on the express lanes, which accrues to business and passenger users.
Table 4, shows economic impacts of benefits from widening only on the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) and the Veterans Expressway over a 30 year time horizon, in five year increments. Impacts from operating both widened facilities will create $16 million in the first five year period from 2018 through 2022 within the State of Florida. This $16 million will directly generate average permanent employment of 16 jobs across the State once completed.
Over the life of the facility, benefits will increase as facility usage and time savings increase. By the 2042-2047 period annual employment will reach 77 jobs directly generated by $80 million as a result of the widening. The direct spending of operational revenues generated will produce an economic impact of $155 million in total economic output and be responsible for $56 million in additional employee earnings. Total economic impacts will support annual employment of 38 employees by 2022 growing to 184 jobs by 2047.
Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) and Veterans Expressway
Operations Widening Only Impacts (2018 - 2047)
Table 5 shows the economic impacts of operations from widening, the implementation of express lanes plus the value of time savings for Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) and Veterans Expressway combined over the same 30 year time horizon. Total permanent employment from annual operations will reach nearly 300 jobs and over $333 million during the five-year operational period ending in year 2047.
Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) and Veterans Expressway
Operational Impacts of Widening, Plus Express Lanes, Plus Value of Time Savings
(2018 – 2047)
Construction impacts for widening and express lanes reach $1.2 billion, including the multiplier effects. Over the life of the project, the economic impacts of ongoing operations and the value of time savings, is $982 million. The total economic impact of construction, operations and value of time savings over time is $2.18 billion. By comparison, the combined cost of construction plus express lanes improvements for both segments is $934 million. This means, for each $1 spent on construction, the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT) and Veterans Expressway projects generate $2.20 in construction and operations benefits over time.
Phase III of the Integrated Congestion Pricing Plan started in May 2014. During this last phase of the study, FTE continued the development of plans to implement express lanes on the Turnpike/SR 821 (HEFT), Veterans Expressway, and Beachline West Expressway.
The development of pricing policies regarding express lanes on the Turnpike System began in Phase II and continued through Phase III in coordination with FDOT Central Office. Such policies included setting of toll rates and frequency of updates, vehicle eligibility, and express lane segment definition.
The public education efforts that FTE initiated in Phase II were continued in Phase III. FTE conducted presentations regarding express lanes to project stakeholders and to the general public. The project video was updated to include results from the focus groups, updates on pricing policies, and detailed project information. In addition, the project website was updated regularly to include up-to-date information.
In this phase, FTE prepared a concept of operations for each of the upcoming express lane projects. The concept of operations addresses high level system and operational issues regarding these projects, including procedures on how the express lanes would operate under normal conditions, under incident conditions, during maintenance, and during special events. In addition, FTE prepared the signing sequence for express lanes, including dynamic message signs, advanced guide signs, toll rate signs, and vehicle eligibility signs.
During Phase III, FTE also prepared a Master Plan of future express lane projects in Central, and South Florida. The plan highlights projects that are currently funded and others that are either in planning, PD&E, or Design.
Finally, FTE developed a monitoring plan to assess the success of future express lane projects on the Turnpike System. The plan included several measures to compare the performance of the express lanes during the pre-build and post-build conditions. As part of the monitoring plan, an economic impact analysis was conducted to assess the economic benefits of the Turnpike express lanes projects on the state economy.