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SR 60 Bridge Project to Require Another Closure of US 27

$45 Million Project is Still on Schedule

Another weekend of detours and traffic snarls for Lake Wales drivers will take place in mid-September as contractors raise nine enormous steel I-beams that will soon be bearing three lanes of eastbound vehicular traffic and a bicycle lane over US 27.

Planned for the weekend of September 16 through 19, Florida Department of Transportation traffic engineers designed the complex series of eight different detour routes that will lead both light and heavy commercial traffic through the city.

The massive multi-year project to rebuild the former obsolete bridge and interchange has been ongoing of more than 18 months. Completion is expected to take place in 2025. The result will be a completely re-configured "single-point urban interchange" rather than the former half-cloverleaf design.

The closure is being done for obvious safety reasons, as few would wish to pass under a dangling steel beam weighing up to 90,000 pounds. The center segment beams alone are 107 feet long.

Each of the nine girders will be joined to form three continuous beams weighing 250,000 pounds and spanning 261 feet without center supports, eliminating the blind spots caused by the former center pillars supporting the old reinforced concrete bridge.

The new bridge will receive a deck and be completed and ready to receive traffic in early 2023, marking a major step forward toward completion of the project.

An average of 32 workers are on site each day, according to Adam Rose, a Communications Specialist with the Florida Department of Transportation. Their work has been slowed recently by heavy rain and lightning, but the contractor remains on schedule to complete the job.

Following phases will include completion of the new ramps serving the intersection, which will be located beneath the spans.

New signage, lighting and other necessities are also included in the project. A wall designed as a noise barrier will be constructed at the south-west portion of the intersection. Landscaping is being designed in conjunction with the City of Lake Wales, according to Rose.


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