FACERS Connect Newsletter
Volume 1 Issue 2
From the President's Desk: Doug Gable, Polk County

Well we certainly experienced an exciting election season! President Trump has mentioned a goal of increased infrastructure spending.  It will be interesting to see if he will be able to push an infrastructure spending bill through the US Congress and if any of the funding trickles down to local governments.

Polk County has certainly seen an uptick in private development over the last few years, especially in warehouses.  Federal Express, Amazon, and Walmart.com have recently built huge warehouses along the I-4 corridor.  The county has been involved with several public-private partnerships to build road improvements for these new warehouses and this work has definitely kept my office hopping. 

The CIP budget for my division, Roads & Drainage, has actually stayed fairly flat over the last few years.  There are hardly any new CIP projects in the pipeline.  Most of our efforts are focused on maintaining the current assets.  Our Engineering staff has really been able to focus on some of these maintenance activities and get more creative to stretch the funding as much as possible.  For example, we are beginning to shift some of the resurfacing budget towards pavement preservation techniques such as rejuvenation, cold-in-place recycling, and chip seals.

Just a reminder that FACERS is a great way to get Professional Development Hours for your PE license.  The PDH deadline for the current two year cycle is February 2017.  FACERS offers PDH's at both the summer and fall conferences.

The 2017 FACERS Membership Drive is Underway

The 2017 Membership drive officially kicked-off in January, and the  new fee structure for annual dues is in place after approval at the Board meeting in May, 2016. 
  • Active membership dues for County and Municipal Members are now $80 (formerly $75.00).
  •  Corporate Membership dues are now $130.00 (formerly $125.00).


For current members renewal has never been easier!  Simply click HERE to renew your 2017 membership online, or click HERE to download the 2017 FACERS membership invoice.

Do you know someone who is interested in becoming a FACERS member? If so, send the Membership Brochure their way! 

Please contact Shelby Dotson at sdotson@fl-counties.com 
or (850)922-4300 with any questions
Save the Date!!

The 2017 FACERS Annual Meeting will be held June 27-30 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in Palm Beach County. 

FACERS Member Spotlight
Tracy Straub, PE      
County Engineer
Marion County, Florida

Tracy Straub joined Marion County government as the Drainage Engineer in 2001. Through the years her position and title changed as she assumed oversight of Stormwater Management and Water Resources, followed by Right-of-way and Development Review Permitting, Roads Maintenance and Customer Service. Tracy was appointed as County Engineer in August 2015, expanding her team to include Traffic Operations and Engineering Services which includes asset, property and right-of-way management, as well as surveying and transportation design.

Marion County is Florida's fifth-largest county at 1,652 square miles and is located in the north-central region of the state. Marion is home to more than 345,000 citizens within the unincorporated county and its five cities of Belleview, Dunnellon, McIntosh, Ocala and Reddick. The Office of the County Engineer is responsible for 2,534 miles of paved roads, 391 miles of unpaved roads, 86,902 traffic signs, 116 traffic signals, 22,921 drainage structures, 2,440 drainage retention areas and 161 miles of drainage pipe or culvert. Marion is also home to thousands of acres of national forest, 32,000 acres of lakes, 92 miles of rivers and more than 40 springs, including world-renowned Rainbow Springs and Silver Springs.

Tracy's husband Brian (fiancé at the time), her family and Marion's natural beauty are what brought her home. She was born in Ocala, Florida and her family has been in Marion County since the mid-1800s. She graduated from Ocala's own Forest High School and Central Florida Community College and received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 1995. Her first engineering-related position was for A. Duda and Sons where she worked part time while attending UCF. Tracy then worked for the City of Oviedo as a staff engineer and, upon receiving her professional engineer's license in 2001, joined Marion County's staff.

FACERS Web Update
As many of you know, the FACERS.org website crashed before the holidays. The site was hosted by the University of Florida who is no longer offering web hosting services. In the interim, a  temporary FACERS webpage has been created on the Florida Association of Counties website and will serve as the FACERS online platform for the next several months http://fl-counties.com/facers.

Visit the page for 2017 Membership Drive information, the 2016-17 Officers & Board of Directors List, calendar of events, a link to the latest newsletter, and presentations from the 2016 Fall Meeting.

Click below to visit the FACERS webpage, be sure to add it to your favorites and visit often for information and updates. 
Visit the FACERS Webpage
Is there something that you would like to see on the FACERS webpage? Contact Shelby Dotson at  sdotson@fl-counties.com  or (850)922-4300.
Project Spotlight

Belleview Beltway From SR 35 to CR 25 Now Open

The heavy rains of Hurricane Hermine didn't stop the on-schedule completion of the north phase of the long-anticipated Belleview Beltway - a significant road project in southern Marion County, Florida. On Sept. 30, Marion County Office of the County Engineer staff moved the barricades and officially opened the newly-completed section of roadway which connects State Road 35 (Baseline Road) and County Road 25.

Quick Facts::
-The south phase will extend from the north phase at County Road 25 to U.S. Highway 441.

-Completed Belleview Beltway: 5.2-mile, four-lane, divided road from State Road 35 to U.S. Highway 441, grassed medians, sidewalks, traffic signals, drainage facilities, and paved shoulders for bike lanes.

- Estimated completion: Substantial Completion of the south phase by the end of February, 2017.

-Improves capacity and reduces congestion in the southeastern portion of the county.

-Total construction cost: approximately $15.34 million.

-Funded by: district three impact fees, 2009 Transportation Bond and a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation, which reimburses 50 percent of the project's construction costs.

 Courtesy of Marion County Office of Public Information

Sponsor Spotlight

Locklear & Associates, Inc. (L&A) is a Florida-licensed Professional Engineering and Professional Geology firm founded in February 2012.  Our team of engineers, geologists and scientists is adept at providing a wide range of services to our clients.  Many smaller communities do not have in-house engineering staff and yet they have many of the same technical challenges faced by larger communities.  We understand those broad needs and have the range of technical expertise to meet them.  Our services include:
Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Management
Master Planning, Site Design, and Engineering
Economic Development
Land Development Review
Water and Sewer Infrastructure                              
Transportation Design
Utility Engineering
Stormwater Management
Right-of-Way Acquisition
Grant Funding Procurement
Municipal, County, State, & Federal Permitting
Solid Waste Planning and Engineering
Contamination Assessment and Remediation
Geologic Investigations
Wetlands Delineation and Mitigation
Consumptive Use Permitting
Environmental Resource Permitting
Environmental Site Assessments
Our clients often must rely on outside funding for a variety of projects.  Our staff understands the financial constraints our clients face and the importance of obtaining funding from other sources.  We routinely prepare grant application packages for our clients at no cost.  L&A also understands the importance of completing grant funded projects within the required time and budget in order for our clients to position themselves for future funding.  Our staff has assisted local communities in procuring funds from the following agencies:
Department of Community Affairs
USDA Rural Development
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service  
US Department of Housing and Urban Development
Environmental Protection Agency
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Florida Housing Finance Corporation
Suwannee River Water Management District
Economic Development Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles in Florida
Fred H. Heery, Sr., P.E.
Office of Traffic Engineering and Operations
 Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)

We hear about autonomous vehicles (AV) nearly daily in the national news.  So what are AV?  What are connected vehicles (CV)? And, what's happening in Florida? 
The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Federal Automated Vehicles Policy notes that transportation technologies are moving toward creating safe driving environments to all road users. The AV Policy defines highly automated vehicle (HAV) systems as those that are capable of monitoring the driving environment as defined by Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE) standard J3016. SAE defines levels of AV functionality, as follows:
  • Level 0- the human driver does everything;
  • Level 1- an automated system on the vehicle can sometimes assist the human driver conduct some parts of the driving task;   
  • Level 2- an automated system on the vehicle can actually conduct some parts of the driving task, while the human continues to monitor the driving environment and performs the rest of the driving task;
  • Level 3- an automated system can both actually conduct some parts of the driving task and monitor the driving environment in some instances, but the human driver must be ready to take back control when the automated system requests;
  • Level 4- an automated system can conduct the driving task and monitor the driving environment, and the human need not take back control, but the automated system can operate only in certain environments and under certain conditions; and
  • Level 5- the automated system can perform all driving tasks, under all conditions that a human driver could perform them.
CV uses vehicle to vehicle (V2V), vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle to other (V2X) communication to exchange information between vehicle, drivers, the roadside, bicyclists and pedestrians.  Through use of roadside units, on-board units, driver information displays, smart phone applications, and dedicated short range communication (DSRC), CV applications will improve safety and mobility for all modes of travel.  CV tests nationally suggest significant safety and mobility benefits are possible in the next few years.
In view of the dramatic potential impacts of CV and AV, Florida is moving forward on several fronts.  The legislature enacted Florida Statute 316.85 which allows a person with a valid driver's license to operate AV in Florida, even when the driver is not physically present in the vehicle.  The legislature also mandated FDOT study and test driver-assistive truck platooning. 
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) received a CV grant from the United States Department of Transportation to deploy forward collision warning, lane departure warning, bike/ped detection, transit priority, and intelligent traffic signal (I-Sig) applications.  This project is in the final design phase.  The University of South Florida will perform the impact study. 
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recently challenged each state to deploy signal phasing and timing (SPaT) and DSRC at about 20 intersections by 2020. FDOT's response to the AASHTO SPaT challenge is planned in Tallahassee at 22 intersections along Mahan Road from Duval Street east to I-10. This project is under development and currently on schedule to be operational by mid-2017.

FDOT's District Two (Lake City) and District Five (Deland) are collaborating with the Cities of Gainesville and Ocala to consider implementing I-Sig, SPaT, and transit priority and other CV applications on routes parallel to and connecting with I-75.  FDOT is considering roadside units in the same area to provide basic safety and congestion warning messages to vehicles traveling the increasingly congested I-75 corridor.  The City of Miami is planning AV and CV to support efficient and safe movement of flowers between the Miami International Airport and distribution centers in the city. 
In anticipation of wide scale CV, FDOT is working with Florida Polytechnic University to develop a CV test track.  Initially the track will focus on testing CV tolling applications.  FDOT is also working with University of Florida to develop a CV test bed within the City of Gainesville.  FDOT is also supporting national CV standards development activities and preparing for testing of CV roadside units at the Traffic Engineering Research Laboratory.  

Job Listings

Pavement Management Engineer
Hillsborough County Public Works Department currently has an opening for a Pavement Management Engineer who will be responsible for maintaining and developing Hillsborough County's Pavement Management Program. Salary range for the position is $61,110.40-$96,990.40/year. For more information visit 

County Engineer
St. Lucie County is advertising a position for a County Engineer with at least 15 years of progressive public works and engineering experience. The position will be responsible for planning, coordination, and execution of County Engineering Division activities. Salary range for this position is $63.923.81-$102,239.90. For more information visit:  http://fl-counties.com/st-lucie-county-county-engineer .
Have something to feature in FACERS Connect?
If you have content you would like to include in the next edition of FACERS Connect, contact Shelby Dotson at (850) 922-4294.