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By Chevon T. Baccus APR
Executive Editor 

FDOT Wants Public Input About U.S.27 Traffic Congestion


Last updated 7/2/2019 at 5:01pm

Chevon Baccus

FDOT Project Manager Sarah Catala Speaks to LW Chamber members

If you're frustrated by traffic congestion on U.S. 27, the Florida Department of Transportation wants to hear from you.

Sarah Catala, project manager for the Northeast Polk U.S. 27 Mobility Study, shared information about the project and urged Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce & EDC members at a breakfast June 19 to participate in the online survey. The survey can be accessed online at

The mobility study is concerned with the 32-mile stretch of U.S. 27 from SR 60 in Lake Wales to the north county line at U.S. 192. Catala said approximately 60,000 vehicles daily use that portion of U.S. 27 south of Interstate 4. The daily traffic count on U.S. 27 near Lake Wales is about 31,500. The Congestion is expected to get worse as population in Northeast Polk County is estimated to grow by 250,000 people by the year 2040. FDOT also recognizes the importance of seasonal residents and tourists to the economy and the impact of truck traffic in the area.

Catala said the study aims to "improve mobility, safety and livability." In addition to looking at U.S. 27, FDOT is looking at major connections to other east-west arterials, as well as future parallel routes in the region that may benefit of impact U.S. 27.

The mobility study asks people to identify problem areas and offer opinions about what is needed to alleviate concerns. FDOT looks at not only traffic signals and turn lanes, but also additional lighting, sidewalks and pavement markers, Catala said.

"You're a big part of this," Catala told the chamber group. "We need to know what you're seeing. We really do want to hear from you."

The mobility study began in June 2018 and completion is expected by May 2021 at a cost of $2 million.

"Addressing congestion and mobility issues will require context-sensitive solutions that not only look at improving mobility and safety, but balance those improvements with defined community values," according to FDOT study documents. "The study outcome will include a set of multimodal strategies and improvements that will be implemented by appropriate agencies."

The study will consider a variety of improvements and multimodal strategies which may include widening, evaluating managed or express lanes, intersections improvements, enhanced transit services and facilities, transportation management and operations improvements, connection to regional roadways or improvements to existing nearby facilities reducing trips along US 27.

Author Bio

Chevon T. Baccus APR, Contributing Writer

After working as a newspaper reporter and editor for eight years, Chevon moved on to a long career in public relations, marketing and business development. After 2 1/2 years as founding publisher of she's happy to still be an occasional contributor.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 8636511065


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