Hillsborough County is extremely vulnerable to hurricanes and heavy precipitation. Recognizing this, the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) leveraged a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant to perform a Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Pilot Project in 2014. The objective was to identify cost-effective strategies to mitigate and manage the risks of coastal and inland inundation for incorporation into the Hillsborough MPO’s 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and into transportation planning and decision-making processes more generally. The study looked at several critical assets and evaluated mobility and economic impacts if any of these facilities were to be out of service.
Gandy Boulevard, part of an important link between Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, was one of the assets evaluated. The 2014 study provided planning level information about strategies and costs to mitigate the impacts of storm surge and flooding inundation for each facility analyzed. The next question and task is how to turn the information into actionable projects to protect against potential risks. The Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) coordinated with the Hillsborough MPO and asked for assistance in refining the strategies for consideration in the design-build of the Selmon Expressway Western Extension.
This report documents the results of:
- additional risk evaluations specific to the Gandy Boulevard segment,
- further refinement of strategies appropriate for the area,
- conceptual designs for consideration by THEA and other purposes,
- more specific pre-engineering cost estimates for the strategies evaluated, and,
- most importantly, recommends low risk, high benefit solutions for implementation.