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SR 60 Widening Set as Priority for State Department of Transportation

Dangerous Highway Stretch Will Finally be Four Lanes

With a growing traffic volume and a significant rate of deadly crashes, a stretch of State Road 60 in eastern Polk County that is restricted to two-lanes has been a visible target of transportation planners for years. Now, tangible plans are afoot to correct the dangerous stretch of highway by widening it to four travel lanes.

Courtesy Polk TPO

The design for the widening of Highway 60 includes two new travel lanes, along with wider paved shoulders and other safety improvements.

The project was included as a priority in the Transportation Planning Organization for Polk County. The TPO board, consisting of representatives from multiple cities in the region as well as county commissioners, sets the priorities for the Florida Department of Transportation.

The busy artery connects fast-growing Polk County and the Tampa Bay area with the Florida Turnpike and the Treasure Coast. Much of the route has been widened to four lanes in past years, but a dangerous two-lane stretch between Indian Lake and Yeehaw Junction, where it connects to US 441 and the turnpike, has seen multiple head-on crashes with numerous fatalities.

The most recent of those crashes, in April, took three lives.

At the June TPO board meeting, the Board officially adopted the five year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) that runs through 2029.

Courtesy Polk Sheriff's Office

Fewer scenes like this horrific tragedy should be the result of improvements to a deadly stretch of SR 60 between Indian Lake and the Florida Turnpike.

The TPO board adopted a resolution requesting the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) acknowledge the safety and strategic necessity of completing capacity improvements on State Road 60. This includes advancing the construction of the four-lane widening from Polk County Road 630 to U.S. 441 at Florida's Turnpike in both Polk and Osceola counties.

During the June meeting, FDOT provided an update on the project's design phase. TPO staff also presented the Board with feedback received during the public comment period, including 203 public comments. This feedback included suggestions on priority projects and various road and safety improvements, which will be used in guiding future planning.

 

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