Work to begin in April on repaving scenic road

Published: Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 7:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 7:19 p.m.

Reader John Parkin asks a timely question -- what happened to the repaving on Southwest 91st Street from 8th Avenue to Newberry Road?

It turns out Alachua County recently opened bids for the controversial project to repave the designated scenic road.

Chris Zeigler of the Alachua County Public Works Department said work is expected to begin in April and be completed by sometime in September.

The road will be resurfaced. It will have a two-foot paved shoulder in some areas and, primarily on the east side, curbs and gutters rather than a paved shoulder.

Portions of the existing sidewalk will be reconstructed and the entire sidewalk will be widened to 8 feet, Zeigler said.

"It will still have the scenic designation," Zeigler said. "Part of the concern was the scenic aspect of it and protection for the trees. We built into the contract a lot of tree-protection language so that they don't come in and go crazy with the equipment to rip up or damage trees."

The project drew criticism from some residents, saying changes such as curbs and gutters would detract from the scenic ambiance of the road. County Commissioners made some changes as the planning process was under way before settling on a design.

Southwest 20th Avenue/43rd Street project

Meanwhile, work is continuing at the Southwest 20th Avenue/43rd Street intersection -- another county project -- that will include added turn lanes and a bus turnout to help ease congestion there.

The work will force lane closures from Wednesday through Feb. 1 for the installation of drainage pipes. The lane closures will be from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. to minimize traffic disruptions.

Ha Nguyen of Alachua County public works said the cost is about $4.4 million, which comes from an earmark from the federal government.

"The project will improve the operational aspect. We are modifying the traffic signal there as well," Nguyen said.

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