The Florida (FDOT) is Department of Transportation starting a new Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) project designed to alert motorists of an alternate route available for motorists on SR 37 (Florida Avenue) when a train is crossing their path in downtown Lakeland.
The project extends on Florida Avenue from Frank Lloyd Wright Way/Cresap Street to North of West 3rd Street, and includes work on Lime Street between Florida Avenue and Sikes Boulevard, Sikes Boulevard between Lime Street and George Jenkins Boulevard and George Jenkins Boulevard between Kathleen Road and Florida Avenue. The City of Lakeland Transportation Management Center (TMC) will control and operate the system once it is in place.
During construction, motorists may encounter lane closures on SR 37 (Florida Avenue) at night/overnight from 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., and on side streets during the day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and at night from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Use caution and be prepared to merge or stop. Pedestrians should also watch for possible detours around work on the sidewalk.
How the system works: The new system will activate at the same time as the crossing’s warning devices when a train is approaching the rail crossing along Florida Avenue between Main Street and Pine Street. Once activated, fourteen blank-out signs will light up along Florida Avenue with messages notifying motorists of delays ahead and pointing them to an optional alternate route. Motorists traveling north are guided to Lime Street then to Sikes Boulevard and motorists traveling south are guided to US Highway 98/George Jenkins Boulevard then to Sikes Boulevard where they can travel beneath the railroad overpass.
Additional signage is provided along Lime Street, Sikes Boulevard and US Highway 98/George Jenkins Boulevard to guide motorists along the alternate route.
FDOT contracted Florida Safety Contractors, Inc. with ASC Logic to design and install the system for $918,123. Design began on April 25, 2017, with crews beginning to install construction signs the week of Monday, January 7. Expected completion is spring 2019.