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  • Writer's pictureTom Reilly

Gainesville's new $16M roadway under construction to help alleviate congestion

Alan Festo

The Gainesville Sun

Those driving down Interstate 75 through Gainesville may have noticed the land on the east side of the road is being cleared. Others may have run into the construction and subsequent detour on the north end of Clark Butler Boulevard.

It's all part of a $16 million plan to help alleviate traffic on some of the city's busiest roadways.

Officials hope the Southwest 62nd Boulevard Connector will reduce traffic congestion on I-75, Southwest 34th Street, Archer Road, Southwest 20th Avenue and Newberry Road. It's also the hope that it will improve upon the city's interconnected, multi-modal grid system in accordance with the city and county comprehensive plans.

"It's gratifying to see it finally moving forward," Mayor Harvey Ward said, noting it had been in the works long before he joined the City Commission in May 2017. "I hope that it relieves traffic in southwest Gainesville. Certainly, there are times when that's a real problem. We'll see when it's finally done.

"It was studied at length for any number of years so the hope is that it is the best possible alternative we can offer to help make District 3 in Gainesville more user-friendly," Ward said.

Construction on the connector is not expected to be completed until fall 2024.

The Florida Department of Transportation is footing the majority of the bill at $13.1 million. The remaining balance will mostly be covered by the city's gas tax and general fund.

The city voted in September 2022 to enter into an agreement with Newberry-based Watson Construction Company LLC to complete the work.

The project consists of the construction of a new 1.1 mile roadway from Southwest 43rd Street/Clark Butler Boulevard to Southwest 52nd Street, which runs along the west side of the Cabana Beach apartment complex. The roadway also will include a 330-foot simple span bridge, 11-foot travel lanes, 7-foot bike lanes and a 10-foot multi-use path.

The road closure at the end of Clark Butler Boulevard to its intersection with Southwest 24th Avenue is expected to remain in effect through July. Motorists are being detoured using Southwest 4th Avenue and Southwest 38th Terrace/Plaza Boulevard.

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