Should John Anderson Highway be four-laned from State Road 100 south to the county line? If so, should that project be a higher priority than the four-laning of Colbert Lane or southern Old Kings Road?
Although the potential four-laning projects are likely years in the future and may not receive state funding, those questions, and a few others, led Flagler County commissioners on June 6 to delay a vote on a proposed priority list of transportation projects to submit to the Florida Department of Transportation for funding.
The proposed list (see the sidebar at left) includes 21 projects ranked from highest to lowest priory, starting with bridge replacements on County Road 304 and ending with the proposed four-laning of the S.R. 100 to Volusia County line stretch of John Anderson. The four-laning of Old Kings Road South is number 20 on the list, and the four-laning of Colbert Lane isn't included — an omission one commissioner questioned.
Projects near the bottom of the list might not get funding.
Commissioners also delayed a vote on a proposed list of alternative transportation projects. That list starts with a proposed pedestrian multi-use bridge over U.S. 1 and concludes with a proposed Intracoastal Observation Platform at Herschel King Park.
"The No. 1 priority item listed on our FDOT priority list is to build a $22 million walk-and-bike-riding bridge over Route 1 one at the north end of the county; I just think at this point in time, and what's been going on, there's just — there may be a need for that at some point in the future, but not right now," Commissioner David Sullivan said. "I don't see that as our highest highest priority."
Sullivan also questioned the inclusion of the John Anderson four-laning in the proposed list for FDOT's five-year work plan, and the fact that the four-laning of Colbert Lane hadn't made the list while the four-laning of Old Kings Road, which Sullivan considered a lower priority, had.
"Colbert Lane probably would need to be four lanes before either of those others," he said, before acknowledging that FDOT technicalities may have affected the ranking.
"John Anderson has no place to go with the southern end, unless Volusia County is is going getting ready to build some kind of major change there," Sullivan said. The list, he said, might need some reprioritization.
Commissioner Greg Hansen suggested pulling the John Anderson project off the list entirely.
County Engineer Faith Alhkatib said that Colbert Lane isn't considered to be in need of four-laning at this point based on traffic studies, though it may need it at some point in the future.
As to the John Anderson four-laning, she said, it's behind $200 million worth of other road projects, and the scope of the project could change before the work would begin.
"Adding it on the list doesn't mean we are guaranteed to get the funding — I don't see it happening within 10, 15 years," she said.
Commissioner Joe Mullins said he'd like it to stay on the list.
"To say we're never going to do it is an extreme — you can't say that," he said. "I don't want to commit a future commission."
Alkhatib said she'd add Colbert Lane to the list.
Commissioner Andy Dance said he had questions about the proposed pedestrian bridge on U.S. 1.
"To me, more important than just the design is the master planning of that entire area, and how it fits in," he said.
Sullivan suggested delaying a vote on both FDOT lists until a meeting on June 18. Other commissioners agreed.