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By Robert Connors
Managing Editor 

Central Avenue, SR 60 Lane Closures Ahead

Construction Project Creates More Traffic Disruption

 

Last updated 11/20/2021 at 10:17am

Motorists can expect more changes to traffic patterns in coming weeks thanks to the massive bridge-replacement and intersection redesign underway at the US 27/SR 60 crossing.

Beginning November 29, 2021, Central Avenue at US 27 will be closed to allow crews to pour concrete in the center of the intersection. The disruption at the intersection will last for approximately two weeks, according to the Floridea Department of Transportation.

US 27 will continue to have two open lanes of traffic north and southbound, and drivers will be able to turn in and out of Central Avenue but will not be able to use Central Avenue to cross the highway. The left turn lanes on US 27 northbound and southbound at Central Avenue will also be closed for the two-week period. FDOT urges motorists to slow down, carefully follow detours, and use caution in the area.

Drivers can also expect intermittent eastbound and westbound lane closures on Highway 60 east of US 27 as the general contractor performs median work.

The $45 million construction project will see a new six-lane bridge replace the old four-lane structure. Crews are currently driving the steel piles that will support the new, higher structure, providing increased clearance for tall vehicles below.

Traffic through the Lake Wales area has been significantly disrupted as a result of the project. 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.

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. The project has been ongoing all year, and is not expected to receive finishing touches until 2025.

When construction is completed the former half-cloverleaf will have been replaced by a "Single Point Urban Interchange," which will feature a traffic signal with left turn lanes beneath the new bridge.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 completed is a new frontage road serving business in the southwest quadrant of the intersection, including KFC, UPS, and Crazy Fish Restaurant. Later phases of the work will include a sound barrier wall at the southeast quadrant.

 

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