County to repair NW 16th/23rd Ave. potholes beginning next week


Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 4:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 4:54 p.m.

The worst potholes on Northwest 16th Avenue/23rd Avenue — a stretch of highly traveled road that has been planned for reconstruction for years — will gradually be smoothed over starting next week.

Alachua County crews will begin repairing potholes next week, according to a county news release. Some repairs will require lane closures, and those have been scheduled for the week of March 25 to coincide with spring break for Alachua County Public Schools.

The timing will minimize the construction work's impact on traffic flow, officials said.

On both weeks, the work will likely be done over the course of a couple days but shouldn't last the entirety of either week, said Brian Singleton, project manager.

The planned mill and resurfacing project for Northwest 16th Avenue/23rd Avenue remains on the table, but this roadwork is not part of it, according to the county.

In early February, County Commissioner Susan Baird asked staff to look into possibly patching potholes along Northwest 16th Avenue as an interim measure before construction on that project begins. She said she considers it a "Band-Aid" that could in the meantime improve road conditions for drivers.

County staff had already planned to fill in the potholes but hadn't scheduled the work yet, Singleton said.

Work on the larger construction project, which will run from Northwest 57th Terrace to Northwest 13th Street and span four miles in length, will begin in late summer, according to the news release.

The work will include resurfacing and rehabilitating existing pavement and addressing operational and safety concerns by modifying the intersections and median openings.

In 2010, the county conducted road tests to determine the traffic pattern impact of closing median access near the street's busy intersections at Northwest 13th Street and Northwest 43rd Street, as previously reported by The Sun. At the time, it drew feedback from residents who opposed modifying or closing the medians.

The median at Northwest 13th Street is currently closed and will remain so after the project is completed, and a median near Northwest 43rd Street will be closed after construction finishes, Singleton said.

The decision to close them is based on crash histories, which had higher levels of incidents than would be typical at those locations. The study showed the traffic impacts of closing those medians were minor compared to the safety benefit.

During that larger project, crews also will add new bicycle and pedestrian facilities, as well as upgrade the pedestrian facilities already in place to meet standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The current facilities were built before the ADA was established and must meet requirements that include having clear passages and accessible curb ramps, he said.

Retaining walls along Northwest 16th Avenue also will be stabilized.

County staff is in the midst of developing the final plan and utility coordination for the project, according to a Public Works Department document. It is negotiating the final land rights and obtaining a stormwater permit exemption.

Contact Morgan Watkins at 338-3104 or morgan.watkins@gvillesun.com.

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