Palm Coast City Council Hears Briefing on FDOT Priorities

Transportation infrastructure is one of the keys to economic vitality for businesses and quality of life for residents. At a recent Palm Coast City Council workshop, officials were briefed on what the next five years will bring from Katherine Alexander-Corbin, Florida Department of Transportation Program Management Administrator for District 5.

“We collaborate with our local partners, federal and other state agencies to develop a tentative work program,” Alexander-Corbin told council members. “Over the last few years we’ve had some key influences on our work program.” The biggest influence has been cost increases.

“It has a major influence as we’ve been developing the tentative work program,” she said. “We continue to see those cost trends for materials and resources continue to increase.”

Supply chain issues for materials and labor costs have been the primary drivers of the cost increases, but Alexander-Corbin said 2023 was “somewhat positive and optimistic” on that front.

“Price increases are still on the rise, just luckily not to the level or the volatility of the last few years,” she said.

Alexander-Corbin reviewed several key projects in the district, which covers Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties. While most of the projects highlighted were in Volusia County, there were two projects in Flagler County of note. The first is a $14.3 million resurfacing effort on U.S. 1 from north of Palm Coast Parkway to the St. Johns County line. The other is a $684,109 project on the Graham Swamp Trail. Both projects are currently listed in the fiscal 2025 funding year.

Mayor David Alfin thanked Alexander-Corbin for the briefing, but expressed concern that few of the projects were in Palm Coast or Flagler County.

“I want the residents to know that Flagler has not had a loud voice in the Transportation Planning Organization,” he said, referring to the River to Sea TPO which is responsible for urban transportation planning and programming. The TPO board is comprised of elected officials from member local governments. “That has changed and Flagler now participates at the executive level for the TPO and in addition has recently incorporated all of Flagler County geography into the TPO. “

Alfin specifically asked about the potential for future projects on State Road 100 and how the TPO and FDOT can help plan for continued growth along that main thoroughfare.

“What we’re asking is that the Department of Transportation look to study what they see as was to improve the quality of roadways and therefore the quality of life for our residents, particularly as the State Road 100 corridor begins to grow out,” he said.

Council Member Theresa Pontieri also noted the difference between projects in Flagler and Volusia.

“I couldn’t help but notice the very large difference between what Volusia has received from the Florida Department of Transportation versus what Flagler is receiving, particularly based on our growth,” she said.

Alexander-Corbin said regional cooperation can “open up funding opportunities” and Flagler County and Palm Coast can focus on bringing those needed projects to the attention of the TPO board.