Awards: 2013 Prudential-Davis Productivity Award for Creating and Implementing Innovative Roadway Design to Support Natural Environments
Client: FDOT District 7
Location: Hernando and Sumter Counties, Florida
Construction Value: $2.4 million
Completion Date: Ongoing
As a part of the FDOT team, American was awarded the 2013 Prudential-Davis Productivity Award for our coordination and use of natural environment within the Withlacoochee National Forest. Currently I-75 is a four-lane divided limited access, rural highway within a 300’ right-of-way (R/W). The proposed construction involves widening the highway from four lanes to a six-lane divided rural interstate highway within the median, and ultimately to an eight-lane divided, rural interstate highway by adding the eighth lane to the outside in each direction. A large portion of the land adjacent to I-75 is within the Withlacoochee State Forest (WSF), and is comprised of multiple existing depression areas, which serve as closed retention basins. During the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study prepared by another consultant in June of 2007, through coordination with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry (DOF), Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) and the FDOT, an alternative method to traditional excavated stormwater ponds within the DOF property was proposed to handle the stormwater quality and quantity requirements. It is proposed to utilize the existing depression areas along the I-75 project limits adjacent to the WSF to provide the required stormwater treatment and attenuation. The runoff will be conveyed through a variety of methods including ditches, storm drains and existing flow paths in order to mimic existing conditions. Each existing depression area was selected based on a number of factors including constraints imposed by the adjacent WSF, hydraulics, and soil characteristics. The benefit of the methodology to use natural depressions was to eliminate changes in land use and construction activities within the WSF through the construction of stormwater ponds. The proposed method of stormwater attenuation allows current management and recreational practices within the WSF to continue and not be impacted. In addition, no property will be acquired and taken out of the WSF for this project for stormwater ponds.