Weather permitting, a project to widen 2.9 miles of U.S. 27 from Lake Isis Avenue to the Highlands/Polk County line is scheduled to be finished by the end of August.
Valerin Group Public Information Officer Alice Ramos said the project is on schedule, barring delays from rains and thunderstorms.
The road crew is now working on the shoulders of the road to prepare for the widening of the road from four to six lanes, she said.
Santiago Gomez and Jonathan Cruz said they’d be glad when the work is finished although navigating through lane closures and the inconvenience that comes about with road construction has been “OK.”
Having three lanes on each side would make the road wider and better, said Gomez, who owns America First Air Conditioning & Heating.
Gomez and Cruz, though, were concerned about the size of the inside turn lane by the business and if it was wide enough for a truck or a vehicle bigger than a sedan to make a U-turn.
J.G. Henderson, who owns The Hair Depot, said he was concerned about losing a deceleration lane leading to his business.
He feels that without it, motorists will slow down or stop in the middle of the lane to make a turn, causing accidents.
Henderson said he has been told by the Florida Department of Transportation that some room will be kept for drivers trying to turn right, although, he said, it’s not its original size.
Ramos said the business would have an extended driveway up to its right of way. Anything after the right of way is the property owner’s call, she added.
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Several grants are also making resurfacing projects possible in the unincorporated areas, said Kyle Green, road and bridge superintendent for Highlands County.
Avon Park City Manager Julian Deleon said this year the city has “redirected” its paving funds toward street lighting and sidewalks on North Lake and South Lake avenues.
They are also building an 8-foot-wide multipath walkway around Donaldson Park by the lakeshore.
The construction crew is on site, he added.