On Thursday, December 8, the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency voted to (IA Board) move forward with advertising and awarding construction services for Phase 1 of the Northeast Gateway Project.
Before the vote, Leon County Commissioner Brian Welch said “as the district commissioner for where this project will occur, I am and remain enthusiastic about its potential positive impacts to traffic and to some of the housing issues that we know we are going to face in the community as we move forward….I do think it is important to speak my continued support of the item and the project.”
NORTHEAST GATEWAY TIMELINE
Winter 2022: Upon IA Board approval, procure construction services for the Northeast Gateway project Phase 1.
Spring 2023: Construction begins on Phase 1.
Spring 2023: Budget workshop on NE Gateway and all Blueprint projects.
Fall 2023: Request IA Board authorization to procure construction services for the Northeast Gateway project Phase 2 and Welaunee Greenway.
Spring 2024: Construction begins on Northeast Gateway project Phase 2 and Welaunee Greenway.
End of 2024: Phase 1 construction complete.
End of 2025: Phase 2 construction complete.
The current estimate for construction services for the Phase 1 Roadway is $30,355,000 and the Phase 1 I-10 Bridge is $8,741,000, totaling $39,096,000. Construction services include the construction of the project, the construction engineering inspection (CEI) services, and design services for the duration of the construction phase.
Phase 1 includes Welaunee Blvd. south of Interstate-10 (I-10) and the Bridge over I-10. This item also requests an amendment to the budget to advance State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) Loan funds from FY 2024 and FY 2025 to FY 2023 to make them available to construct the project in the current fiscal year.
The purpose of the NE Gateway project is to improve regional mobility and enhance connectivity for motorized and non-motorized users; and reduce transportation pressures on surrounding roadways resulting from existing, ongoing, and proposed development on adjacent properties.
Moreover, the project is needed to provide an alternative route for existing users of Centerville and Miccosukee Roads (two scenic roadways that are locally protected and designated as Canopy Roads), and to also help accommodate future growth within the Urban Services Area.
Based on the agenda item, on opening day the project will alleviate existing congestion on roadway networks within northeast Tallahassee, such as US 319 (Thomasville Road) and US 90 (Mahan Drive).
In addition, the 2025 results from the Traffic Modeling Summary Report show a redistribution of existing traffic that yields more efficient roadway network utilization and subsequent relief for many of the regional arterial and collector roads in this area with the addition of the NE Gateway improvements.
As shown in Figure 1, the project will extend approximately 6 miles from its existing termini, approximately 1.25 miles east of Fleischmann Road, over I-10 to connect at the existing intersection of Centerville Road, Bradfordville Road, and Roberts Road, with an extension of Shamrock Street South eastward from Centerville Road to connect at an intersection with Welaunee Blvd.
There will also be a connection to Roberts and Montford schools, via the Pimlico Extension, and a future connection to the new Northeast Park, slated to be built in the vicinity. The project includes a new eight-mile Welaunee Greenway and associated trailheads that will connect with the Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway to create a 17-mile loop.
Figure 1: Project Overview Map