The Sand Lake Road Study follows the County’s Roadway Conceptual Analysis, or RCA, process. This process confirms the need for transportation improvements, determines the most suitable improvements for a given setting, assesses the potential impacts of such improvements on the community and the environment, and develops cost estimates. The completion of this process guides future project phases (design, right-of-way acquisition, if needed, and construction), which must be completed before a project is in place.
Here is a brief description of the key steps that have been used for the Sand Lake Road Study.
Before improvement alternatives could be developed, the study team needed to understand the existing conditions of the area as well as anticipated future changes, e.g. in development activity and transportation plans. Information was collected from existing sources and through field reviews, which included: existing roadway characteristics; traffic and crash data; future transportation plans; existing and future land uses; environmental features; drainage patterns; cultural resources; and potential contamination sites. The collected information provided guidance in determining the best transportation improvement options for the Sand Lake Road corridor.
Following the completion of the data collection and analysis, a review of the Sand Lake Road Corridor and the parallel corridor of Wallace Road was completed to assess travel patterns, existing and projected travel demand, the presence of environmentally sensitive areas and ways to improve mobility in the Sand Lake Road area. This analysis was documented in a Corridor Analysis Technical Memorandum.
Improvements Alternatives Identified and Studied
This step involved the identification of three (3) transportation improvements alternatives, including typical sections, that could be applied to the Sand Lake Road area. Each alternative was evaluated based on impacts to the human environment (neighborhoods, businesses, community assets, historic resources), the natural environment (wetlands and habitat for threatened or endangered species, drainage), the physical environment (access management, right-of-way, travel patterns, potential contamination sites), and costs. The results were shared at a public community meeting on October 26, 2016. (Click here for the meeting presentation and displays.)
The preferred transportation improvement for the Sand Lake Road area was based on the technical evaluations and public input of all the alternatives studied. The preferred improvement was further refined and evaluated in more detail in the winter of 2016/2017. The results were shared at a public community meeting on February 23, 2017.
A key component of this study has been the open and transparent exchange of information and feedback from stakeholders and the general public. Throughout the study, public feedback was collected and reviewed. Individuals remained informed about the study’s progress through this website, newsletters, and public meetings. Additionally, the Study Advisory Group, consisting of local stakeholders and agencies, provided valuable insight into the study findings and recommendations. Following the second public meeting, the study recommendations are being presented to the Orange County Local Planning Agency (LPA) and the Orange County Board of County Commissioners. The study concludes with the Orange County Board of County Commissioners taking action on the study recommendations. The recommendations were accepted and the proposed improvements will move forward into the design phase, once funding is available.