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Community Interest

HIGH SPRINGS – Anyone who has lived in High Springs for even a few years is aware that the city commission and numerous citizens have been actively petitioning Alachua County to fix pothole-laden County Road 236.

Residents of the area and parents who drive their children to High Springs Community School have worried about the safety of traveling that roadway for some time, and express their fears emphatically at joint city/county commission meetings.

High Springs city officials have complained that the roadway does not give a good first impression to visitors and business owners looking for a location in which to build their companies.  

Finally, everyone's wish is going to be granted...possibly by Christmas.

Transportation and Development at Alachua County Public Works confirmed Tuesday that two of the three companies needed to do the job have already been identified, with the third aspect of the work, the sidewalk repairs or replacements, to go out for bid soon.

“This is a project we have wanted to do for a long time,” said Alachua County's Project Manager Tom Strom. “The overall project is estimated to cost $2 million and is projected to be totally completed by fall of 2017.”

Lest that completion date strikes fear into the hearts of residents and visitors who regularly traverse that road, the roadway itself will not take that long to complete.

“We will probably begin work on the roadway in mid-November,” said Strom, “and there will be some lane closures. But we will try to keep those to a minimum.”

Preferred Materials, Inc., Gainesville, has the contract to mill two inches of asphalt on the existing three-inch thick roadway and lay the structural course of two inches. V.E. Whitehurst & Sons, Inc. will then place an inch-and- a-half of top course (asphalt) on the roadway. Whitehurst will also be responsible for traffic maintenance during construction and will coordinate with Preferred Materials during their part of the work to help make things run as smoothly as possible for drivers.

The resurfacing project runs approximately four miles from U.S. Highway 441 to Interstate 75. In addition to resurfacing northwest .CR 236, the project includes redressing grassed shoulders and filling in sidewalk gaps in High Springs.

Pavement construction is scheduled to be completed before the end of the year. Redressing the grass shoulder will follow, and sidewalk construction should be completed by the end of summer 2017, weather permitting.

High Springs City Manager Ed Booth is expected to report on the county's progress at this Thursday's City Commission meeting.

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