State roads wish list being drawn up

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Several Cedar Key projects on the list

By Lou Elliott Jones

State transportation officials have told the Levy County Commission they are looking for their road work “wish list” to be turned in by July 1.

Bill Henderson, planning and environmental manager for FDOT District 2 in Lake City, made his annual call on the commission when it met June 4 to ask the county for its input on roadwork. 

“We are looking for your priority list on July 1. Anything you feel like you need in Levy County let us know,” he said. He said the county's list would be taken into account in drawing up the work list for the coming fiscal year and the five-year plan. 

At the same time, Henderson, presented commissioners with the current 5-year plan for transportation projects in the county and explained one big change to a federal program that provides road enhancements like sidewalks, lights, pedestrian/bike trails. He said under the new federal funding bill these projects were rolled into the MAPs bill which stands for Moving Ahead for Progress. Now those enhancement programs are rolled into the funding as transportation improvements. “We can still do sidewalks and bike trails,” Henderson said. And he reminded commissioners that the list of priorities for such projects is usually released in March. 

He did say that construction is going to be underway soon on sidewalks to Joyce Bullock Elementary, Williston Elementary and Williston Middle School along County Road 316, Main Street, Southeast 4th Street, Southwest 7th Avenue, Southwest 3rd Street, Southwest 5th Avenue, Northwest 4th Street, Southeast 8th Street, Southeast 3rd Avenue, Southeast 10th Street and Northeast 4th Fourth Avenue in Williston. O’Steen Brothers Inc., of Gainesville was espected to begin the work this week and finish in 75 days. The project cost is $436,374 and came from the Safe Routes to School project. 

The five-year plan Henderson presented calls for the following projects, keeping in mind that the state's  fiscal year (FY) begins on July 1, i.e. FY 2014 begins on July 1, 2013:

• Resurfacing of 11.3 miles of State Road 24 from U.S. Highway 19 to Bronson city limits in FY 2015 for $4,825 million, with further work of $45,000 in FY 2016 and $46,000 in FY 2017. Bids will be opened in March 2015. 

• County traffic signal maintenance in FY 2014 of $29,000 rising by $1,000 annually to $33,000 in FY 2018.

• Planning and engineering for the No. 3 bridge on State Road 24 in Cedar Key, in FY 2016 at an estimated cost of $800,000. 

• Resurfacing County Road 40 from US 19 to the Marion County line in FY 2014 at $1.7 million.

• Replace the Waccasassa River bridge on County Road 326. Bids to open in August 2014 at estimated cost of $1.6 million. 

• Pave County Road 326 (Southwest 78th Place) from the end of the pavement to County Road 347 in FY 2014 at an estimated cost of $1 million. 

• Replace the bridge over the Waccasassa River on County Road 339 with bids to open in June 2018 at estimated cost of $1.5 million.

• Replace Lewis Pass Bridge on Gulf Boulevard (County Road 456) in FY2017 at an estimated cost of $1.5 million.

• Replace the Daughtry Bayou Bridge Gulf Boulevard (County Road 456) in FY 2016 at an estimated cost of $2.8 million.

• A rail safety project at 8th Street and East Noble Avenue/US 27 in Williston in FY 2014 at an estimated cost of $234,000.

• Resurface Northwest 110th Avenue (Clay Landing Road) from State Road 320 to the end of the road in FY 2016 at an estimated cost of $312,000.

• Rebuild the railroad crossing at State Road 121 near Northeast 200th Street in Williston in FY 2015.

• Add a sidewalk along US 19 from the Withlacoochee River to Inglis Avenue in FY 2014 at an estimated cost of $165,000.

Henderson said his office is still working on a feasibility study on construction of a sidewalk/bike trail along County Road 40 from Bird Creek Park to Yankeetown  and on design improvements to US 19  between Fourth and Fifth avenues in Chiefland.

The sidewalk/bike trail for the County Road 40 project has been tricky because of environmental concerns but, Henderson said, he will return to discuss “an option that might work.” 

“We will talk to the folks in Yankeetown and Inglis,” he said. “We didn't think it was feasible because of the salt marsh but we’ve got a plan.”

Commissioner John Meeks of Bronson (R-District 1) was ready with one item for Henderson's work list.  “We need to get our safe routes to school in Bronson,” Meeks said referring to walks along County Road 32. 

County Road Department Administrative Supervisor Bruce Greenlee said he was aware of the need and has been working with FDOT on it, “It did get funded but got pushed out to fiscal year 2018-19,” Greenlee said. 

Henderson's advice: “Put that on the list.”