Project Purpose and Need

Purpose

The purpose of the Northeast Connector Corridor Project is to improve regional mobility and enhance connectivity for motorized and non-motorized users.  Operational improvements will provide additional traffic capacity in a holistic manner enhancing water quality, safety and aesthetics along the corridor. The addition of capacity on the roadway will ultimately ease traffic congestion between two arterial roadways in Thomasville Road and North Meridian Road.

Need

The project is needed to provide additional capacity along Bannerman Road to accommodate current and projected future population increases and to provide improved multimodal access and facilities, and safety improvements to reduce current crashes, between Thomasville Road and the scenic North Meridian Road.

Historically, the need to improve Bannerman Road was first identified in the 2012 Final Engineering Report, undertaken at the direction of the Leon County Board of County Commissioner’s for the 4.4 miles of Bannerman Road.  The 2012 Report concluded that Bannerman Road required widening from two to four lanes from Thomasville Road to Tekesta Drive and recommended adding multiuse trails along the roadway Bannerman Road from Thomasville Road to North Meridian Road to safely increase pedestrian and cyclist connectivity.

The need for additional capacity on Bannerman Road was again identified in the Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA) 2040 Regional Mobility Plan.  The Regional Mobility Plan (RMP) called for the four-laning of the 1.75 miles of Bannerman Road from Tekesta Drive to Thomasville Road.  To date, the efforts of Leon County along the corridor have included construction of a four-lane section of Bannerman Road from the Thomasville Road intersection to west of Quail Common Drive.  Intersection improvements at Bull Headley Road, Tekesta Drive, Beech Ridge Trail, Preservation Road and North Meridian Road have also been made.  Ancillary to the roadway capacity issues, the CRTPA 2040 RMP also documented the need for bicycle and/or pedestrian facilities for the growing residential sections throughout the corridor. 

In response to the need for the project, the IA Board at their September 20, 2018 and June 27, 2019 meetings, directed staff to perform a traffic feasibility analysis of Bannerman Road between Tekesta Drive and North Meridian Road.  Consistent with this direction, numerous technical analyses including an existing and projected future traffic volume, safety study, development of conceptual operational alternatives, and development of cost estimates, have been completed to determine the need for, and feasibility of, widening Bannerman Road west of Tekesta Drive. The results of the Traffic Feasibility Study are presented on this website.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Bannerman Road Corridor Study continues previous efforts to improve Bannerman Road and consists of two steps, including a Traffic Feasibility Analysis to determine future traffic capacity needs along the corridor, and an update of the 2012 Final Engineering Report reflecting the findings and recommendations of Traffic Feasibility Analysis.  The Traffic Feasibility Analysis was recently completed and approved by the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board of Directors at their September 17, 2020 meeting.  The Traffic Feasibility Analysis evaluated traffic and safety conditions along Bannerman Road from North Meridian Road to Tekesta Drive. The need to widen Bannerman Road from Thomasville Road to Tekesta Drive was previously determined by the 2012 Final Engineering Report, coordinated by Leon County. The purpose of the Traffic Feasibility Analysis was to determine if operational improvements or expansion (widening) of Bannerman Road is warranted, based on projected future traffic through 2045. The Traffic Feasibility Analysis is comprised of the following items:

  • Traffic volume and safety analysis
  • Preliminary cost estimate of alternative roadway configurations

The Traffic Feasibility Analysis concluded that to accommodate the future forecasted traffic volume, Bannerman Road is in need of additional capacity in the form of operational improvements (turn lanes) from North Meridian Road to Preservation Road and expansion from two to four lanes from Preservation Road to Tekesta Drive.  The Board’s subsequent action as well as the study results can be found here.

The update to the Final Engineering Report is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2021. The project schedule is located here.

The need for additional capacity on Bannerman Road was originally identified in the 2012 Final Engineering Report for the corridor, completed in 2012 by Leon County, and was later included in the Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA) 2040 Regional Mobility Plan, which was adopted in November 2015. Subsequent to the 2012 Final Engineering Report the project was added to the Blueprint 2020 work program in 2014 by the Sales Tax Extension Citizens Committee with a project description of expanding Bannerman Road to four-lanes between Tekesta Drive and Thomasville Road and to construct a multiuse trail from Thomasville Road to N. Meridian Road. 

In response to the need for the project, Blueprint’s Intergovernmental Agency Board (BPIA) requested a Traffic Feasibility Analysis in June 2019 to include the examine expansion of Bannerman Road west of Tekesta Drive to North Meridian Road. The action was taken to examine the viability of widening Bannerman Road due to increased commercial and residential development along the corridor through data gathering and future population forecasting. The results of the Traffic Feasibility Analysis are presented here.

Purpose

The purpose of the Northeast Connector Corridor Project is to improve regional mobility and enhance connectivity for motorized and non-motorized users.  Operational improvements will provide additional traffic capacity in a holistic manner enhancing water quality, safety and aesthetics along the corridor. The addition of capacity on the roadway will ultimately ease traffic congestion between two arterial roadways in Thomasville Road and North Meridian Road.

Need

The project is needed to provide additional capacity along Bannerman Road to accommodate current and projected future population increases and to provide improved multimodal access and facilities, and safety improvements to reduce current crashes, between Thomasville Road and the scenic North Meridian Road.

For further discussion of the purpose and need for the project please see the Project Information page.

The Bannerman Road Traffic Feasibility Analysis is broken into two segments: Segment 1, from North Meridian Road to Preservation Road, and Segment 2, from Preservation Road to Tekesta Drive. A third segment, from Tekesta Drive to Thomasville Road, was not included in this Feasibility Study and is currently scheduled for expansion to 4 lanes. These three segments are shown in the Project Map below. This analysis focused on identifying areas where additional roadway capacity is needed by segment, to avoid adding capacity in areas where it is not needed.  The results indicated operational improvements are necessary to provide requisite capacity between N. Meridian Road and Preservation Road (Segment 1) and a four-lane roadway is necessary to provide requisite capacity to support future forecasted traffic volumes between Preservation Road and Tekesta Drive (Segment 2).  The results of the analysis were presented to and approved by the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board on September 17, 2020.

Yes. The need for bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout the corridor was documented in Leon County’s 2012 Final Engineering Report for the corridor and in the CRTPA’s 2040 Regional Mobility Plan (RMP). This project will include bicycle and pedestrian facilities along Bannerman Road.

Intersection improvements will be evaluated in detail as part of the update to the Final Engineering Report. Findings and any recommendations from this effort will be presented at community meetings for review and comment.  Upon Board approval, intersection improvements will be implemented as part of the project.

The project is being funded by the Leon County-Tallahassee Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency through a penny local option surtax approved by Leon County voters in 2014.

The Traffic Feasibility Analysis includes an update of the Bannerman Road 2014 project cost estimates, consistent with improvements as included in the current sales tax project. The original estimate for improvements to Bannerman Road currently included in the sales tax project are $28.5 million. The updated cost estimates of the additional elements of the Northeast Connector Project as well as the cost estimates for the recommended Alternative A are summarized in the table below.

Based on IA Board direction regarding the recommended improvements to Bannerman Road, cost estimates will continue to be refined through the corridor study and the design phase. Updates will be brought back to the IA Board at critical decision points during the design phase. Blueprint will bring back an analysis of the recommended funding option with options for IA Board consideration through the Fiscal Year 2022 budget process. Current project funding, including allocations proposed through the FY 2021 budget, are sufficient to maintain project progress and complete critical analyses that will assist in refining estimated costs and funding options for the project over the next year.

Yes – The project will improve congestion along Bannerman Road. 

The Traffic Analysis concluded that the existing roadway with currently planned improvements will not provide enough capacity to support projected future traffic volumes in 2045 (20 + years beyond completion of construction). Also – the roadway between Tekesta Drive and Preservation Road will reach capacity in 2035 as shown in the table below.

Traffic Model results for analysis of three different roadway configurations along Bannerman Road indicate relief of congestion (low levels of service) and thus, any authorized construction associated with the project should assist in the relief of congestion along Bannerman Road.  See the tables below for calculated levels of service in the conceptual alternatives modeled.  For further discussion of the Feasibility study Analysis results please see the 2020 Feasibility Analysis page.

Both motorized and non-motorized roadway network users.  Upon authorization, the improvements will include additional capacity for motor vehicles as well as facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians, benefitting the entire community. Further, multimodal transportation corridors will be available to nearby neighborhoods, businesses, and future commerce centers throughout the corridor.

Pending approval from Intergovernmental Agency Board The Northeast Connector Corridor Project will proceed as follows:

Early October 2020The project website will be launched and the Community Engagement Plan for the project will be implemented per the schedule provided in the previous Section.
October – November 2020Community Engagement activities, including virtual community meetings, will occur with two goals: 1.) share the results of the Feasibility Analysis and subsequent IA Board direction, and 2.) obtain community input on corridor improvements to develop preliminary typical sections for IA Board consideration.
December 2020An update on community engagement activities will be presented to the IA Board, including draft typical sections, which will be refined though community engagement in early 2021.
January 2021Community engagement activities continue to receive feedback on draft typical sections.
February 2021Based on IA Board direction at the December 10, 2020 meeting and subsequent community engagement activities, staff will request approval of a recommended typical section to move forward into the update of the 2012 Final Engineering Report for the corridor.
Late Spring 2021Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Workshop, where the IA Board can provide direction on funding options for the Northeast Connector Corridor project.
September 2021Approval of the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget.
Fall 2021Staff will present the Updated Final Engineering Report to the IA Board and following approval, will begin design.
Fall 2022Staff will complete the design and permitting for the project and begin to acquire necessary right-of-way consistent with the approved design.
Spring 2024Construction

Spring 2021 community engagement dates have yet to be released, but should be expected toward the end of February 2021 for the next phase of this project. Additional information can be found on the Community Engagement page when the details are finalized. In the meantime, public comments will be accepted via the project website, and at all community meetings. You may also contact the Blueprint Project Manager Megan Doherty by phone at (850) 219-1060 or via email at megan.doherty@blueprintia.org.

There will be multiple opportunities to attend community meetings as well as provide feedback throughout the course of this project. All materials that are presented at meetings will be made available following the meeting on the project website under the Community Engagement page. In addition, questions and comments from the public can be shared with the project team at any time throughout the study by visiting the Contact Information page.