At the Marion County Commission Workshop on June 7th, Juan Guerra, Owner of Guerra Development Corporation, presented the Preliminary Engineering Report (P.E.R.) for SW/NW 80th/70th Avenue.
With the opening of the World Equestrian Center, and the new Calesa Township being built at On Top of the World Communities Ocala, the traffic on SW/NW 80th/70th Avenue will more than double. That’s an increase from about 14,600 to 37,500 vehicles per day. To accommodate this traffic and make it safer for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists, the road will be widened into a divided four-lane roadway with a median, sidewalks, bike paths and a separate multiuse asphalt path.
A Look at the Area
The road improvement project is 10.5 miles long and extends from just north of SR 200 to about one quarter to one half-mile north of US 27. Due to the existing businesses, houses, and Westport High School, the width and design of the road will be modified to accommodate the existing uses. Most of the road widening will occur on the west side of the existing road. At the widest point, the road and multiuse paths will be 120’. The multiuse paths vary from 10’ to 14’ wide and they also include a designated bike path. Other potential sections of the road will be 100’ with a 5’ sidewalk and 4’ bike lane next to the 12’ travel lane for cars. The designs presented were preliminary designs and the road will be approved after further input is received.
Three Phases – Ten Years
There are three main segments to the road construction project. It is estimated that it will take 10 years to complete. The intersections at US 27 and SR 40 will be the first segments to be completed. There is a preconstruction meeting for the intersection at US 27 that will be held sometime this month.
The Workshop was an opportunity to receive feedback from the Commissioners about the road improvements. Several Commissioners expressed concerns about saving the tree canopy and the legacy trees. Mr. Guerra said that every effort would be made to save as many trees as possible and to protect the character of the road. The multiuse path will be “meandered” to make the path more appealing and to help save the trees.
Because it was a Commission Workshop, there were no public comments. However, a community meeting will be scheduled soon for the public to provide input and comments. Keep an eye on the Calendar for updates.
Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, contact Pat Russett at 352-671-8686.
The full report is available on Marion County’s website. To go there, click on the image or the button below:
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