Also in City Watch: Ormond Beach residents create new civic engagement group.
The Florida Department of Transportation is seeking public input on improvements to the I-95 and U.S. 1 interchange in Ormond Beach.
A Project Development and Environment study is underway to evaluate safety improvements to the interchange, which was designed and constructed in the early 1960s and some of its original elements, such as the median openings and vertical clearance of the I-95 bridges over U.S. 1, no longer meet current standards. And as FDOT predicts traffic will increase by over 40% by 2050 on I-95 and more than double on U.S. 1 with the build-out of nearby Plantation Oaks and Ormond Crossings — which could build about 2,950 residential units — improvements are needed.
The study also includes improvements one mile north and one mile south of the interchange, and determined U.S. 1 must be widened from four to six lanes between Plantation Oaks Boulevard and Destination Daytona Lane.
An open house held on Tuesday, June 21, which included a video presentation, presented three alternatives to the public: 1) keeping the existing interchange, 2) replace the existing interchange with a “diverging diamond interchange,” or 3) replace it with an “offset intersection interchange.”
According to the presentation, the diverging diamond alternative would consist of three 12-foot travel lanes and a 14-foot shared paths in both directions to serve pedestrians and bicyclists. The offset intersection alternative is similar, but instead of three 12-foot travel lanes, it would have two 11-foot travel lanes and an outer 12-foot lane in each direction.
The biggest distinction between the two new interchange options is the ramps. The diverging diamond alternative “reduces or eliminates conflicts between left-turning vehicles, thereby enhancing the capacity to make left turns, and minimizing traffic back-ups at intersections.” A video of how a diverging diamond interchange works is available at https://bit.ly/3xImTxO
FDOT stated that the offset intersection alternative would include a new southbound exit ramp that bridges over I-95 to connect with U.S. 1 at a signalized intersection, parallel to the I-95 northbound entrance ramp. New direct ramps would be built on the south side of the interchange to serve the movements to and from the south.
The study began in summer of 2021 and is scheduled to be completed in fall of 2023. FDOT plans to hold a public hearing on the preferred alternative in spring of 2023.
To view the presentation, visit cflroads.com/project/419772-2
Free training for health care facilities
Volusia County Emergency Management will be putting on a series of free training sessions beginning in July to assist health care facilities with the filing of their state-mandated disaster preparedness plans.
Local emergency management agencies are then required to approve the plans, according to a county press release. About 167 health care facilities in Volusia County must adhere to the mandate. In February, the County Council approved a plan review fee. The fee will take effect on Oct. 1.
The three-hour training session will be conducted at the Emergency Operations Center at 3825 Tiger Bay Road in Daytona Beach.
The dates are:
- 9 a.m. to noon, Monday, July 11;
- 5:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 20
- 9 a.m. to noon, Monday, Aug. 8.
- 5:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 18
- 9 a.m. to noon, Monday, Sept. 12
- 1:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14
Register at bit.ly/3y4rfjd
Locals create new group for civic engagement
Ormond Beach residents Linda Williams and Bill Denny, creators of Civil Discourse and Common Ground, are forming a new civic engagement group titled, “Let’s Create...It.”
“Why form a new group, and what is the difference in this and others?” the press release reads. “We will not be talking about the past and what has already happened. We will be concentrating on what a diverse group of people want for Volusia County. What type of communities do we want to create and grow and how do we begin?”
The concept grew out of a conference organized by the Volusia County Association for Responsible Development, led by Kerry Karl, who brought together developers, realtors, environmentalists, government officials and others to discuss growth and development.
The first meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, June 27, and will be on Zoom. If interested in attending, email [email protected]