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Southport Connector
Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study

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About the Study

A Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study is an environmental and engineering process developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to determine social, economic, natural and physical environmental impacts associated with a proposed transportation improvement project. The process follows procedures set forth in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and federal and state laws and regulations. It requires the combined efforts of professional engineers, planners and technical personnel who collect and analyze project-related information to develop the best solution for transportation needs.

The Southport Connector will be a new controlled-access roadway. The Southport Connector is closely tied to Osceola County's Comprehensive Plan.  The effort will seek, within the framework of the County's urban growth strategy, to avoid, minimize, and mitigate disruptions to environmental systems from both the direct and indirect impacts.

Project History

2005: Southport Connector adopted into 2005 Osceola County Comprehensive Plan.
2007: Lake Toho Master Plan includes Southport Connector.
2008: Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (OOCEA) includes Southport Connector generally following the alignment reflected in the County’s Comprehensive Plan as part of the Concept Development and Evaluation Study for SR 417 Southern Extension.
2009: Southport Connector alignment refined as a result of a Feasibility Study conducted by Osceola County.
2010: Additional planning of Southport Connector adopted into Osceola County 2025 Comprehensive Plan.
2012: Osceola County Expressway Authority (OCX) 2040 Master Plan adopted.

PD&E Study Process

The process used in the development of a PD&E Study is made up of several components:

  • Data Collection - existing conditions, traffic counts, existing and future land use, drainage, wetlands, endangered species habitat, potential contamination sites, traffic noise levels and air quality.
  • Engineering Analysis – develop alternatives that meet the needs of the project area, and are environmentally responsible, socially acceptable and cost effective.
  • Environmental Evaluations – document and assess potential impacts to the natural, physical and social environment including: wildlife habitat, public lands, wetland locations, and community issues and concerns.
  • Public Involvement – continuous community outreach and stakeholder coordination throughout the study process.

study process

A range of alternatives will be considered for this project. The No-Build or No-Project alternative will remain a valid alternative throughout the study process. Under the No-Build alternative, no improvements would be made.

Alternatives Evaluation Process

alternative evaluation process


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