Project Development Process

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) routinely conduct studies that address existing and future traffic needs.

The FDOT project development process begins with planning studies and ends with a constructed project. This comprehensive process consists of five phases—Planning, Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study, Design, Right of Way Acquisition, and Construction.

Project Development Process Graphic


The Planning Phase identifies the project’s purpose and need. A project begins by identifying transportation needs or deficiencies through a planning process that prioritizes the short and long range transportation improvements.


The purpose of the Efficient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM) process is to incorporate environmental considerations into transportation planning to inform project delivery. This process supports the environmental policy of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to “protect and preserve the quality of life, and the natural, physical, social and cultural resources of the State, while expeditiously developing safe, cost-effective, and efficient transportation systems” (FDTO Environmental Policy Topic No. 000-625-001). The ETDM process provides agencies and other stakeholders the opportunity for early input and consideration of the environment and community features in transportation planning.

Please visit the FDOT ETDM Process for additional information.


FDOT/FTE may conduct planning-level corridor studies to assist in defining a project need and providing focus to the most significant challenges. The two most common corridor studies utilized are feasibility studies and Alternative Corridor Evaluation (ACE) studies.

FTE will use a feasibility study to conduct a high-level, fatal flaw analysis on an identified need. These studies are often deployed on potential projects off the Turnpike system such as a potential new alignment. If no fatal flaws are identified, the study may advance into a PD&E study.

The ACE process is used to identify, evaluate, and eliminate alternative corridors on qualifying projects prior to the PD&E phase. The decisions made in an ACE can be used to refine the purpose and need for a project; determine the project area; define general travel modes or corridors; describe general environmental setting for a project; identify preliminary environmental impacts and environmental mitigation; and develop and refine a range of alternatives to be considered in detail during the PD&E Study.

PD&E Study

The PD&E phase is an important step in the transportation project development process. It is the bridge between planning and design phases and helps guide decision-making by evaluating the potential impacts that a transportation project may have. During the PD&E phase, FDOT collects data, develops and evaluates alternatives, conducts studies, prepares reports and gathers input from the general public, applicable agencies, and interested parties. The goal of the PD&E process is to develop the best solution to the transportation needs that offer the greatest benefit with the least impact.

Please visit the FDOT PD&E Manual for additional information.

Learn About PD&E Process


The Design phase is when the plans and calculations are developed to prepare a set of documents that are used to build a project. Permits are obtained during this phase as well as determination and plan for any mitigation that compensates for project impacts.

Please visit the Turnpike Design for additional information.

Right of Way Acquisition

The Right of Way Acquisition phase is when any needed property is purchased for the project. Please visit the Turnpike Right of Way for additional information.


The Construction phase is when the project is built. Weekly Construction Updates detail upcoming construction, maintenance and lane closure activities.