WASHINGTON, D.C. – (July 1, 2020) – The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization have been honored with a 2020 Excellence in Regional Transportation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). The awards recognize organizations for noteworthy projects and practices in transportation planning, program delivery, and special initiatives.
The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization received the award for the Resilient Tampa Bay transportation study, which was completed in December 2019. The project was funded by the Federal Highway Administration and completed in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation District Seven Office, Forward Pinellas and the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The Resilient Tampa Bay project assessed the resilience and reliability of Tampa Bay’s transportation system. Its analysis showed that 19% of the Tampa Bay area’s roadways are highly or moderately vulnerable to storms, sea level rise, and heavy precipitation. A Category 3 storm that brought rain for 14 days, plus sea level rise or a 9-inch precipitation event, could wash out the roads or cause structural issues that would render those roads impassable.
Also, it’s important to note that one-third of these vulnerable roadways are critical to the region’s safety, mobility, and economy. The report found that the damaged infrastructure would have a significant economic impact to the region, including loss in Gross Regional Product and personal income.
The study recommended that the region’s stakeholders work together to begin to address potential threats to the transportation system through such strategies as raising roadways, enhancing drainage, bolstering the road base or shoulders, and enhancing coastal protection through beach nourishment and seawalls.
“The Resilient Tampa Bay project expemplifies the information-sharing that’s core to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s work, and criticial to helping our region collectively make progress with resiliency,” said Sean Sullivan, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.
The Resilient Tampa Bay transportation study was the first major resiliency initiative completed following the Tampa Bay area’s first major summit dedicated to resiliency, led by Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long, in January 2020. The Tampa Bay Resiliency Coalition is a team of 28 local governments and more than 80 partners that are working together to increase the area’s resilience.
“It’s been a pleasure working with TBRPC to flag the most vulnerable and essential parts of our regional transportation system,” said Hillsborough MPO Executive Director Beth Alden. “The Hillsborough MPO has made improving these areas a fundamental part of our new ‘It’s TIME’ Hillsborough Transportation Plan.”
NADO is a Washington, D.C.-based association that promotes programs and policies to strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies. Award winners will receive national recognition during the 2020 National Regional Transportation Conference, which will occur through virtual sessions on July 28-29.
Read the Resilient Tampa Bay report at www.planhillsborough.org/resilient-tampa-bay-transportation/.
About the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council brings together governments to coordinate planning for the community’s future and provide an opportunity for sharing solutions among the local government jurisdictions in the Tampa Bay region. TBRPC works with six counties and 21 municipalities as they make long-range plans related to the future of the Tampa Bay region. The Council’s work focuses on resiliency, planning for climate change and sea level rise, environmental management, water quality, emergency preparedness planning, protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary, economic analysis, coastal zone management, housing and infrastructure analysis, development of regional impact review, local government comprehensive plan reviews, cross acceptance, dispute resolution and reviews of transportation plans. Learn more at tbrpc.org.
About National Association of Development Organizations
Founded in 1967, the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) provides advocacy, education, networking, and research for a national network of over 500 regional development organizations. NADO members provide professional, programmatic, and technical assistance to over 2,300 counties and 15,000 municipalities.