St. Johns County (Florida) shared-use non-motorized trail planning study

Project Summary

The Shared-use Non-motorized (SUN) St. Johns River-to-Sea (SJR2C) Loop is the longest multi-use trail loop underway in the Southeast United States. Once completed, the loop will link more than 260 miles of continuous trail in five Northeast Florida counties and significantly expand outdoor recreation opportunities for residents and visitors.

Hanson assisted St. Johns County, Florida, with developing a planning study to close the remaining 26-mile gap of the SUN Trail-SJR2C Loop trail within the county. Once developed, this trail segment will connect unincorporated areas of the county with the cities of St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach to establish a regional trail connection consistent with SUN Trail criteria.

The study, funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and administered by the county, established the final recommended route through St. Johns County. The study was a planning-level evaluation of safety, environmental, engineering criteria and community factors that could influence the success of subsequent phases of work required for trail development and implementation. The team prepared an Existing Conditions Report, Purpose and Need Statement, Public Involvement Plan, Alternatives Analysis Report and Final Report.

A final route and second complementary route were recommended, and all jurisdictional agencies approved these routes. The planning study was the first step in a larger process to implement this trail segment. The routes were divided into 13 projects to request funding for future project development phases through the FDOT SUN Trail Program and other potential funding sources.

Throughout the study, Hanson collaborated with all stakeholders to gain consensus in recommending the safest and most practical route for developing trail segments. Interested parties included the county, FDOT, cities of St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, bicycling advocate groups and the public.