Intersection gets facelift, additional turning lane


Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 2:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 2:49 p.m.

The facelift of a busy intersection in southwest Gainesville is underway with the construction of a new turning lane and streetscaping on SW 13th Street and 16th Avenue.

Northbound motorists turning left onto SW 16th Avenue will get an added turn lane, while southbound drivers will have a right turn lane, said project manager Reid Rivers.

The work, which has caused lane closures on both 13th Street and 16th Avenue, is part of a larger project to revamp 16th Avenue from Archer Road to 13th Street, which will take several months to complete.

"There are little improvements all along the way. The whole road isn't being reconstructed, it's just modifications that are mostly for safety," Rivers said. "The whole project is slated to be finished in September."

The northbound median, which had been fairly wide, is being redesigned to accommodate the added left turn lane, Rivers said.

Traffic signal mast arms will replace the current cables to which the lights are attached.

A prime feature of the overall project was the elimination of parking along 16th Avenue. Rivers said people who used to park there are now parking in the several garages in the area, adding that he has gotten more people calling to say they were pleased with the change than calling to complain about it.

That section of 16th Avenue will have some spot resurfacing. New bike lanes will be created when the street is restriped.

"It will be milled and resurfaced in places, partly so the pavement can blend in," Rivers said. "Where the bicycle lanes are going, they are doing a very light milling, mostly just to remove the markings."

The project also will include streetscaping on U.S. 441 from the parking garage and retail area across from Arby's south to the intersection.

Cindy Swirko is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.

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