Blueprint Moves Forward with Construction Phase of NE Gateway Project

Blueprint Moves Forward with Construction Phase of NE Gateway Project
Leon County Commissioner Brian Welch

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
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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.

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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

10 Responses to "Blueprint Moves Forward with Construction Phase of NE Gateway Project"

  1. I have wondered for years how we handle the growth around canopy roads. I was hoping they would develop two two lane roads next to each and make them one way 2 lane streets. Roads need to be widened and ditches fixed with guardrails for safety where needed.

  2. What is the dark green trapezoid on Centerville to signify? I thought the ‘park’ would be adjacent to the schools near Roberts Rd.

  3. The idea of an I-10 interchange goes back far more than a couple of years. Desire for the Northeast Gateway, as well, goes far back in time. Some former so-called “environmentally progressive” city and county commissioners (and friends of the property owners and developers) were intricately involved with Canopy development (an environmental disaster) and what’s been going on with Welaunee Plantation (and will continue well into the future). These so-called “progressives” served on commissions long before Brian Welch (who
    I’m afraid is, in many ways, more of the same as his predecessors). I agree with many (perhaps for different reasons) that the proposed Northeast Gateway serves special interests of a select few (as does so much of Blueprint).

  4. @Dwayne
    In answer to your question, perhaps the “smiling man” in the picture above is one of the recipients. Read his quote of ongoing support for this debacle.

  5. This taxpayer funded project is to provide roads and infrastructure through Welaunee so Powerhouse Inc. can develop. We already subsidize Powerhouse Inc. with very generous property tax assessments ( $5 or less per acre) and now we are going to pave there driveway so they can sell and make millions! I wonder who is getting greased for this deal.

  6. @ A Skeptic: They have been talking about an I-10 Interchange (on-off Ramps) on Centerville Road for a couple Years now. It’s funny because Centerville Road is a designated Canopy Road that can not be Widened and yet, they are ok dumping a lot more Vehicles onto Centerville Road even though it can not handles all the Vehicles using it NOW. Not a single Commissioner, City or County, in the past 20 Years has been able to demonstrate thinking 20 Years ahead in their Planning of projects.

  7. On Preston’s show this morning, this project was discussed. One of the items was the I-10 bridge, and that it would eventually be made into an I-10 entry/exit.

    Don’t hold your breath.

    There is nobody in Tallahassee or Leon County government with the authority to make that happen. The Interstate system is administered at the federal level and an interchange has to be approved by, and coordinated with, federal authorities.

    Back in the mid 80s, the developer wanted a zoning change in the Huntington Woods subdivision to allow for 45′ wide lots with 30′ wide structures built within 1 foot of the property line. The developer acknowledged that it might adversely impact existing property values and claimed that they would be recovered (and more) when the overpass across Mission Road was upgraded to an entry/exit. The zoning commission never even challenged the builder’s statement, and nearly 40 years later the property owners are still waiting.

    There’s more money behind the NE project, and they may some day get that I-10 exit, but just because they claim now that they want it doesn’t mean it’ll happen. And I’m not sure that I want I-10 through Tallahassee to look like I-4 through Orlando.

  8. Because you allowed the Canopy/Welaunee to be built between two Roads that are designated as protected Canopy Roads, you now have to spend over $39,000,000 to fix the issues it has caused because you didn’t/Refused listen to the Citizens who told you that this will happen if you allow the Canopy Subdivision to be built. I asked the Committee at the Meeting how they were going to move the 3000 to 4000 Cars that will be residing in that Subdivision and they refused to answer.

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