SR 60 Overpass Construction "On Schedule"
New Bridge Will Bear Limited Traffic in Spring
Last updated 10/28/2021 at 5:26pm
The massive $45 million project to replace the obsolete bridge over US 27 in Lake Wales is continuing apace, but the comings months will see multiple traffic interruptions, the Florida Department of Transportation has confirmed. The bridge will carry State Road 60 over the federal highway.
Corine Burgess, Community Outreach manager for the project on behalf of FDOT, has confirmed that construction in the middle of the Central Avenue-US 27 intersection will be disrupted again for two weeks beginning in early November (see sidebar for details).
The construction of the new six-lane bridge to replace the old four-lane structure has been ongoing all year. Traffic through the Lake Wales area has been significantly disrupted as a result. Recent months have seen a noticeable increase in traffic on Scenic Highway (SR 17) that has resulted in longer wait times at signals, which lack left-turn sequences.
Crews are currently driving the steel piles that will support the new, taller structure, providing increased clearance for tall vehicles below. The current bridge has been struck at least twice, requiring repairs each time.
The new bridge will be opened to limited traffic in the summer of 2022, allowing for the dismantling of the old bridge. Both the erection and constriction phases will see temporary blockage of US 27, but the operations are planned to take place during overnight hours. Full six-lane traffic on the bridge is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2023.
When construction is completed in 2025 the former half-cloverleaf will have been replaced by a "Single Point Urban Interchange," which will feature a traffic signal with left turn lanes beneath the new bridge. Wider exit and entrance ramps will increase capacity.
Already functioning is a new frontage road serving business including KFC, UPS, and Crazy Fish Restaurant in the southwest quadrant of the intersection. Later phases of the work will include a sound barrier wall at the southeast quadrant.
Landscaping will take place when all construction has been completed, That will be funded by FDOT but carried out by the City of Lake Wales, according to Burgess.