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  • Writer's pictureTom Reilly

County approves 10-year road construction plan, estimates $242M in improvements

Nora O'Neill

The Gainesville Sun

Alachua County approved a list of roads for construction over the next 10 years, a plan which is estimated to cost around $242 million.

The Board of County Commissioners voted this week to approve the list as part of the Transportation Capital Improvement Program. The program features various projects including widening and repaving roadways, bridge rehabilitation and construction, and a bike and pedestrian program.

“We’re about to see a lot of construction on the roads,” County Commission chair Anna Prizzia said.

A budget wasn't approved at the Tuesday meeting, just the list of roads and sites. The final budget will be determined during the county’s fiscal year 2024 budget approval cycle, though the county estimates it’ll cost $242 million.

The money for the program primarily comes from the half-cent infrastructure surtax passed by Alachua County voters in 2022, gas tax and general fund.

The commission will be able to change the plans in the future if they want to prioritize other roads and sites, said the county’s Public Works Director Ramon Gavarrete.

“This is a dynamic program,” he said.

Commissioners Mary Alford and Prizzia stressed the importance of making sure roads and crosswalks by schools are safe.

“At schools or near schools would definitely be a priority,” Prizzia said. “We’ve had a lot of issues with cars and kids.”

The county implemented various metrics to prioritize areas of inequity in the plan. It has allocated $750,000 a year to residential roads within areas of inequity, and included in the plan road segments with 15 or more work orders in the county’s database. Areas of inequity were identified by looking at areas with household incomes below 60% of the area median gross income, or identifying areas with a poverty rate of 25% or more, among other requirements.

Commissioner Ken Cornell said he’s ready to move forward on the plan.

“Folks need to see their government in action, and now it’s delivery time,” he said. “It's time to start delivering roads.”

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