NEWBERRY ‒ The Newberry City Commission on May 8 took steps to bring a Publix grocery store to the community. City Manager Mike New presented proposals for road improvements and traffic signaling for development of a grocery shopping center on State Road 26 east of County Road 235. The development includes a Publix supermarket and proposes roadway connections to State Road 26, County Road 235 and Newberry Lane.
The Commission unanimously approved a trio of matters relating to the development, the first of which was approval of a funding commitment letter to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) allocating funding for intersection improvements on State Road 26 in the vicinity of County Road 235 and Newberry Lane.
The Commission also approved executing a Locally Funded Agreement between FDOT and the City of Newberry related to funding for a traffic signal and related improvements on State Road 26 in the same vicinity. This project is expected to cost $800,000 - $1.6 million.
The commission also authorized New to execute a Traffic Signal Funding Agreement between the City of Newberry, Alachua County, Carolina Holding Inc. and Gromax Development related to funding for a traffic signal and related improvements on State Road 26 in the same vicinity. The cost to the City is expected to be $134,000 and will be funded out of the one percent sales tax revenues.
In 2022, the Commission approved the applicant’s site and development plan. Currently, the developer has received its other permits to proceed with construction with the exception of the driveway access permits from the FDOT and Alachua County Public Works (ACPW) despite submitting two detailed traffic studies of the roadway network adjacent to the development. According to the developer, the project has become time sensitive and obtaining the driveway access permits is now critical for the project to remain viable.
The City has contacted FDOT and ACPW regarding the urgency of the driveway access permits. FDOT transmitted a Locally Funded Project agreement and will release the permit if the City executes the agreement, which the Commission did on May 8.
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