What constitutes the IAR approval process in Florida?
The IAR approval process consists of two parts: The determination of the safety, operational and engineering (SO&E) acceptability and the approval of the NEPA (PD&E) document that covers the environmental requirements for the proposed improvements. After completion of these two parts, FDOT submits a letter to FHWA notifying that the SO&E and NEPA approval parts are complete. The letter also confirms that the recommended alternative concept is the same in the SO&E and the NEPA documents. The NEPA evaluation can be conducted concurrent with the SO&E or following the approval of the SO&E document.
Who approves IAR documents?
The approval authorities of an IAR document depend mainly on two factors. First is the type of document (MLOU, IJR, IMR, SIMR or IOAR). The next factor is whether the IAR falls under the Programmatic Agreement with FHWA. For further guidance on the acceptance authorities, please refer to the IARUG available here.
What type of safety analysis is required in an IAR?
The safety analysis shall include the analysis of existing conditions using historical data and quantitative analysis of the proposed modification based on the Highway Safety Manual (HSM). The safety analysis performed for the IAR must be consistent with the safety guidance provided in the IARUG.
Please click here to access the IARUG.
When should an IAR re-evaluation be performed?
A re-evaluation is performed to document compliance with the state and federal requirements and processes as the result of changes in the project since the approval of the original IAR. Re-evaluations are required for one or more of the following conditions:
When should an IAR be prepared?
IARs should be prepared to sufficiently substantiate proposed changes in access to limited access facilities. The IAR should provide enough detail for the approval authority to independently evaluate and act on the request. The level of effort and documentation required for each type of access change should be reflective of the magnitude and significance of potential impacts associated with the proposed change in access.
What is the Programmatic Agreement? When is an IAR processed using the Programmatic Agreement?
The Programmatic Agreement (PA) was renewed and executed on April 24, 2020, between the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Florida Division and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The PA allows FDOT to review and assess the justification and documentation of proposed changes to the Access to the Interstate System. The PA is a product of Section 1505 of MAP-21. This section gives the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary the ability to allow state DOTs to review and approve Interchange Access Requests (IARs) on the interstate systems.
What is a locked gate access request? When does it need to be performed?
A locked gate access request is an access request that evaluates the access from a limited access facility or interchange to a maintenance facility such as a retention pond or utility pole. A locked gate access request needs to be performed if a new access is being proposed along a limited access facility or at the interchange.
What is the difference between a locked gate and a ROWSTAR access request?
The primary difference between a locked gate access request and a ROWSTAR access request is where the request initiates. A locked gate access request initiates with the FDOT Maintenance Office while a ROWSTAR access request initiates with the FDOT Right-of-Way Office. For each access request, a general use permit must be submitted through the District Office Of Maintenance where the access is being proposed.
What is required for a locked gate and ROWSTAR access request document?
Information and factors to consider and include in the access requests include but are not limited to:
When should a technical memorandum be prepared in lieu of an IAR re-evaluation?
Sometimes changes can happen to the recommended design concept that does not require preparation of an IAR document. If there is a change proposed to the design within the AOI that does not impact the interchange operations, then a re-evaluation of the IAR document is not required. For example, a design change could be proposed at an intersection adjacent to the ramp terminal that does not have an impact on the interchange. In such a situation, instead of a re-evaluation, a technical memorandum can be prepared and included as an appendix to the approved IAR document. For further information on what the memorandum should include, please refer to the Interchange Access Request User's Guide (IARUG).
What is the Florida Interchange Portal (FIP)?
FDOT Systems Implementation Office has developed a data repository that stores and maintains information for all interchanges in the State of Florida. The information and data associated with interchanges can be accessed through the interactive map based platform.
What information is provided in the FIP?
The FIP provides an overview of interchanges and the interchange access request process. This web portal is also a repository for various approved interchange projects. The repository contains approved Interchange Access Requests (IARs), travel time savings, future safety analysis information and design plans related to the interchange projects.
Can I find analysis files on the FIP?
Analysis files, such as HCS, Synchro, CORSIM, Vissim files related to interchange studies are not available for download through the portal. However, if these files are required for a project, a request can be placed by visiting the Contact Us page of the FIP.
Who manages this interchange information portal?
The Florida Interchange Portal (FIP) is maintained by the FDOT Systems Implementation Office. To contact the FIP Team, please visit the Contact Us page on this portal.
Where can I find the latest guidance for Interchange Access Requests?
The latest Interchange Access Request User’s Guide (IARUG) provides guidance for preparing and reviewing interchange projects in Florida. It can be obtained from the Systems Implementation Office website. Please click here to access Systems Implementation Office website.