"Traffic-geddon" Coming To Lake Wales as US 27 Closing Causes Detours
An Entire Weekend of Snarls and Back-ups Expected for Bridge Construction
Last updated 1/9/2022 at 10:19am
An unprecedented closing of US 27 will snarl traffic through Lake Wales in mid-January, routing traffic from the busy corridor along several area streets and highways.
The Florida Department of Transportation announced the impending closing, which will allow construction crews to raise the heavy beams for the new bridge being constructed to carry SR 60 over the federal highway.
The closing will last an entire weekend from Friday night until early Monday morning. During which time traffic will be routed in complex patterns on Scenic Highway, First Street, Central Avenue, Mountain Lake Road, Winston Avenue, and Hunt Brothers Road. Routes will differ depending upon direction and even type of vehicles, with heavy trucks following different detours than passenger vehicles.
Local drivers may wish to prepare and plan to stay off the roads during the long weekend of expected traffic chaos.
"We're shooting for the 14th," a contractor told LakeWalesNews.Net, but indicated that confirmation would have to come from the FDOT, which has so far only warned of a "mid-January" date for the operation. A closing on January 14 would last until the morning of the 17th.
For commercial traffic heading north on US 27 but coming from SR 60 west, including the intermodal facility, the detour will be especially long, requiring them to head south to Hunt Brothers Road, east to Scenic Highway, and then north through town to Mountain Lake Road before reaching US 27.
FDOT has released a series of maps showing the detours which will be marked. Given the numbers of streets involved it will be tricky for local drivers to avoid the temporary traffic. Using signalized intersections from local streets may smooth essential travel.
LakeWalesNews.Net will provide updates on the situation as details are released, as well as traffic updates during the closure to ease the journey for local drivers. Those expecting visitors coming from out-of-town may wish to advise them to follow alternate routes where possible.