A Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study (FPID: 440314-1) was conducted by the Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE), to evaluate the potential to add tolled lanes along Colonial Drive (S.R. 50), from the S.R. 408 interchange to S.R. 520 in northeastern Orange County. The proposed seven-mile limited access facility will be known as Colonial Parkway and will include two tolled lanes in each direction to enhance local and regional connectivity. Access from Colonial Parkway to S.R. 50 and major intersections will be provided via slip ramps. Intersection capacity and lighting improvements will be provided along S.R. 50, as well as bicycle and pedestrian enhancements. The Colonial Parkway PD&E study also included improvements/modifications to the existing S.R. 50 and S.R. 408 interchange, to provide system-to-system connection between S.R. 408 and Colonial Parkway. This Interchange Modification Report (IMR) documents traffic operations analyses and safety evaluations for the proposed S.R. 50 and S.R. 408 interchange modification.
The proposed Colonial Parkway will provide added capacity along with a higher speed, tolled east west corridor to relieve existing and future congestion along S.R. 50. The direct connect ramps between S.R. 408 and Colonial Parkway will relieve congestion at the existing S.R. 50 and S.R. 408 ramp terminal intersection. Accessibility and connectivity to S.R. 408 will also be improved. Eventually, this corridor could be extended to I-95 via Beachline Expressway (S.R. 528), in Brevard County, offering inter-regional connectivity. The purpose of these improvements is to enhance safety, add capacity, improve reliability, increase mobility, and reduce evacuation travel times in east Orange County.
The traffic analysis showed that segments of S.R. 50 that were widened in 2016/2017 west of Lake Pickett Road were over capacity in the 2017 existing conditions. Field data showed that travel speeds along S.R. 50 during peak hours were generally below the posted speed limits within the study corridor. The intersections along S.R. 50 at Woodbury Road and S.R. 408 Northbound Off-Ramp operated at unacceptable Level of Service (LOS) E or F during 2017 peak hours. The intersection of Woodbury Road and Challenger Parkway also operated at unacceptable levels.Crash data for the most recent five years from 2012 to 2016 reported a total of 670 crashes along S.R. 50 within the Area of Influence (AOI) of the S.R. 408 interchange, from Woodbury Road to Lake Pickett Road. This area is urbanized and experienced congestion before or during the widening of S.R. 50. The number of crashes per year fluctuated between 130 and 136. Most of the crashes occurred at intersections, compared to mid-block locations. Majority of the crashes resulted in injury and property damage only. Two fatalities were reported during the five years; both occurred at night in dark lighted conditions.
Various Build alternatives were evaluated for the PD&E study. The Preferred Build alternative was selected because it provided acceptable operations, reduced wetland and right-of-way impacts, and provided a higher design speed of 60 mph between S.R. 408 and Colonial Parkway, compared to other alternatives. The alignment will be re-evaluated for 65 mph design speed and coordinated with Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) for concurrence during the design phase of the project. This IMR only documents traffic analysis for the No Build and the Preferred Build (referred to Build herein) alternatives. The No Build alternative assumed that existing lane geometry will remain the same in the future, since there are no programmed improvements within the S.R. 408 interchange AOI. The Build alternative included four tolled lanes along S.R. 50, system-to-system connections at the S.R. 408 interchange, slip ramps, and intersection improvements at Lake Pickett Road.
Future lane requirement analysis showed that additional capacity will be required along S.R. 50 under No Build conditions from Woodbury Road to Lake Pickett Road. This section is critical, with some segments showing an eight or 10-lane need by the 2025 opening year. Addition of the Colonial Parkway lanes in the Build conditions will meet the capacity needs east of S.R. 408.
It is anticipated that most of the S.R. 50 intersections within the study limits will be over capacity by the 2025 opening year under No Build conditions, and congestion along S.R. 50 will impact S.R. 408 operations. However, operations along S.R. 408 are expected to be restored to free flow conditions with the Build alternative. Overall, results showed a 60 and 37 percent reduction in total signalized intersection control delay within the AOI in the 2045 design year AM and PM peak hour, respectively, when compared to the No Build. It is estimated that reduction in network travel time and delay for the entire Colonial Parkway project will range from 33 to 70 percent during 2045 peak periods. This is mainly due to the added capacity and higher speed provided by the proposed Colonial Parkway as well as the anticipated diversion of traffic from the general lanes to the proposed tolled lanes. Intersection improvements included in the Build alternative also enhance operations.
User benefit for a 20-year life span of the proposed Colonial Parkway and interchange modification was estimated using network travel time and safety. Fuel consumption and emissions were not included. Based on 2017 dollars and a discount rate of five percent, the estimated user benefit was $380 Million and $56 Million based on travel time and safety, respectively, from year 2025 to 2045. The safety benefit would have been higher if the safety analysis tools could consider queuing impacts in estimating potential crashes.
The analysis showed that the proposed interchange modification meets the requirements for the Federal Highway Administration’s two policy points. First, the proposed modification does not have an adverse impact on the operations and safety of S.R. 408, S.R. 50 or the local street network, and improves traffic operations through the design year. Second, the proposed access connects to a public road only and will provide for all traffic movements.
The design phase of the project should consider maximizing turn bay storage lengths for movements at closely spaced intersections. Acceleration and deceleration lanes along S.R. 408 and Colonial Parkway should also be adjusted to meet AASHTO minimum length requirements or
maximized. Further, CFX’s plans to widen S.R. 408 to six lanes (three in each direction) east of Alafaya Trail should be considered in the design of the Colonial Parkway and S.R. 50 ramps, based on a future agreement between CFX and the FTE. As part of the future agreement, dual northbound left-turn lanes can be considered at the S.R. 408 northbound off-ramp to S.R. 50.
The proposed Colonial Parkway will provide added capacity along with a higher speed, tolled eastwest corridor to relieve existing and future congestion along S.R. 50. The direct connect ramps between S.R. 408 and Colonial Parkway will relieve congestion at the existing S.R. 50 and S.R. 408 ramp terminal intersection. Accessibility and connectivity to S.R. 408 will also be improved. Eventually, this corridor could be extended to I-95 via Beachline Expressway (S.R. 528), in Brevard County, offering inter-regional connectivity. The purpose of these improvements is to enhance safety, add capacity, improve reliability, and increase mobility in east Orange County.
Both S.R. 408 and S.R. 50 serve as major east-west connectors for commuters, residents, and tourists between Lake, Orange, and Brevard counties. S.R. 50 is one of only three arterial roadways in east Orange County that provide connectivity to the I-95 corridor, along with S.R. 528 and S.R. 520. These corridors serve virtually all east-west traffic connecting the Orlando area and the Brevard County attractions (Port Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island, and beach communities). These three corridors are also major evacuation routes for the residents of Brevard County. The proposed Colonial Parkway will provide enhanced mobility options for reduced commuter and evacuation travel times, while needed improvements to S.R. 50 will enhance user safety and reduce local congestion. The project will include the new toll facility and connectivity to the modified S.R. 408 interchange, as well as bicycle and pedestrian enhancements and intersection
improvements along S.R. 50.