Welcome to the Port Manatee Connector PD&E Study Project Site
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), initiated the Port Manatee Connector Project Development and Environment (PD&E) Study in 2008. The PD&E Study involves the analysis of a range of alternatives for enhanced access between Port Manatee and Interstate 75 (I-75). The purpose of the project is to provide an enhanced connection from Port Manatee to I-75; improve the movement of goods and traffic flow to and from Port Manatee; and provide the necessary transportation infrastructure to support economic development at Port Manatee thus enhancing the regional economy. To meet the purpose and need objectives of the project, the proposed improvements may include upgrades to existing roadways and/or alternatives on a new east-west alignment. The Port Manatee Connector will provide access to Port Manatee and connect to a new or modified interchange with I-75 within the study area. The study area for the proposed project extends from south of Interstate 275 (I-275) in northern Manatee County to north of Valroy Road in southern Hillsborough County and from just west of U.S. 41 to east of I-75.
An enhanced roadway connection from Interstate 75 (I-75) to Port Manatee in Manatee County would serve as a crucial freight route, improve the overall efficiency of the existing highway network and relieve congestion at the gateway to the port. The need for the Port Manatee Connector is supported by local, statewide and nationwide land use, economic and growth objectives based on the following
- I-75 and Port Manatee are both included in Florida’s Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) plan.
- The proposed facility is identified in the 2030 SIS Multi-Modal Unfunded Needs Plan.
- The proposed facility is identified in the 2030 Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning
Organization Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Cost-Feasible Plan as a needs project.
- The proposed facility promotes international and statewide trade transportation networks.
- Port Manatee is the closest deep-water U.S. port to the Panama Canal (under expansion).
With the planned expansion of Port Manatee, in conjunction with the anticipated population and employment growth in the vicinity of the port, the Port Manatee Connector will play a critical role in accommodating travel demands and improving the movement of goods and people.