The County has engaged Baskerville Donovan to do an engineering review of the ideas that were generated by last spring’s Master Plan, and develop cost estimates, priorities, and likely funding sources. Baskerville made a presentation the SRIA on August 24th.
Comments are being accepted on the Baskerville Donovan engineering study of the Master Plan. The report from Baskerville Donovan is available on this web site for your review. There is a project comment line (850) 430-1700. Comments can dropped off at the SRIA office or emailed to email@example.com Comments period closes on September 12th. The Master Plan Steering Committee meets on September 7th at 11 am at the SRIA to discuss the report from Baskerville Donovan. This meeting is open to the public.
PB Master Plan Report 8-24-11
Since the process of developing a Master Plan for Pensacola Beach has been a long process, it might be helpful to provide a brief recap. In the fall of 2009, the SRIA selected a planning firm to develop a Master Plan as a vision for future. EDSA from Ft. Lauderdale was selected and contracted with the SRIA. A 13 member Steering Committee was appointed to provide guidance to EDSA. Over the course of the next few months, the Steering Committee met and public workshops were held to encourage input on the Plan.
The SRIA Board adopted the EDSA conceptual Master Plan in April, 2010. http://sria-fla.com/admin/documents/edsamasterfinal.pdf The EDSA plan promoted the concept of a beach to bay experience. The focus of improvements in the core area involved redirecting Pensacola Beach Blvd. to go straight into the Casino Beach parking lot. Traffic patterns and pedestrian movement would be changed by the use of roundabouts, an elevated roadway, and a pedestrian walkway at grade beneath the elevation of the road near the current traffic light. The cost of the EDSA Master Plan was roughly $336,000.
In our February newsletter we reported that the County awarded an engineering contract to Baskerville Donovan to do the engineering design of the Master Plan. The $150,000 cost of the engineering study came out of Local Option Sales Tax funds. Baskerville Donovan was tasked to analyze the feasibility of the ideas included in the EDSA report, make cost estimates, set construction priorities, and recommend funding options. We were told that there will be public forums at several stages of the engineering process, but none were scheduled.
On August 24th, Baskerville Donovan made a presentation of their preliminary findings to the SRIA Board with about 50 interested parties on hand. They concluded that the roundabouts proposed by EDSA were unworkable. Instead, they presented an option of extending the service road on the east side of Pensacola Beach Blvd. The presentation included 5 options for changing the intersection with cost estimates and grades applied for the level of service achieved (E and F are failing levels). Baskerville Donovan also entertained the option of moving the toll facility to the north bound lane, so that people would pay the toll upon leaving the Beach. The board members were allowed to ask questions, but no one in the audience was permitted to speak. Anyone wishing to comment was instructed to use the comment process.
It is not clear at this point how input from the Steering Committee or other comments submitted to BDI will be incorporated into the engineering review. BDI’s final report on this phase is expected to go to the County by October 31, 2011.
Read more about the history of the beach master plan