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Wabash Avenue Extension Study

The City of Lakeland, in association with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), is conducted a Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) Study to evaluate the extension of Wabash Avenue from Harden Boulevard to Ariana St, a distance of approximately 2.6 miles.  These improvements were evaluated to address future travel demand and provide for enhanced mobility and regional connectivity in Southwest Florida.

The Study process allowed for an objective evaluation of project alternatives and the development of documentation necessary to reach a decision on the type, location, and design concept of future improvements to Wabash Avenue. The study was conducted to maintain eligibility for future federal funding in future project phases: therefore, the study has been submitted by FDOT to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for approval.

Study Analyses:

Potential impacts to the natural, physical, social and cultural environment have been evaluated with respect to both the No-Build Alternative and the Recommended Build Alternative.  As part of this process, several independent reports have been prepared with the information from technical analyses in order to document potential impacts resulting from the proposed project.  Those reports include: Westland Evaluation Report, Endangered Species Biological Assessment Report, Cultural Resource Assessment Study, and Noise Study Report.

Based on the results of the technical analyses, along with public and agency input, a Recommended Build Alternative was selected and documented along with the No-Build Alternative in the project reports. These documents were reviewed by the City of Lakeland and FDOT and were submitted to FHWA for approval.

Study Alternatives:

No-Build Alternative: The No-Build Alternative assumes that no improvements will be made in the study area and that existing conditions will remain.  This alternative is often used to compare the costs and benefits of implementing proposed improvements versus the alternative of continuing to use the existing facility.  For this study, the No-Build Alternative would mean that Wabash Avenue would not be extended.

Recommended Build Alternative:  The recommended build alternative for the Wabash Avenue Extension PD&E Study is a two-lane divided roadway that follows the easterly alignment represented by Alternative 'A' in the linked Wabash Corridor Overview Map.  This facility satisfies project need by providing the additional north-south connection between Harden Boulevard south of the Polk Parkway, and the existing intersection between Wabash Avenue and Ariana Street.  The recommended build alternative involves the shortest distance between the project termini and the least number of impacts as compared with the other options that were evaluated.  The attached map shows the recommended build alternative in blue.

The PD&E Study has been conducted to evaluate the location, conceptual design, and social, economic, and environmental effects of the extension of Wabash Avenue from Harden Boulevard to Ariana Street, a distance of approximately 2.6 miles.  These improvements were evaluated to address future travel demand and provide for enhanced mobility and connectivity in Southwest Lakeland.

Documents related to this study.

Project-related information may also be obtained by contacting Greg James (City of Lakeland) at (863) 834-8440.

Updated: April 2014