Eighth street to get upgrade

Miriam Arias/Staff Writer

New changes are being implemented along southwest Eighth street between the Palmetto Expressway and the Florida Turnpike.  Public Information Specialist Cynthia Vazquez stated, “The project is to enhance public safety.”

The changes being implemented include the repaving of the roads in that area and changes to improve traffic lights and lanes.  Additional bicycle lanes will also be added.

Traffic light upgrades will be implemented on southwest 82nd avenue., southwest 87th avenue, southwest 92nd avenue, southwest 94th avenue, southwest 97th avenue, southwest 102nd avenue, southwest 107th avenue, southwest 109th avenue, southwest 112th avenue and southwest 117th avenue.

Changes include the shutting down of the westbound traffic separator at southwest Eighth street, a U-turn signal will be added at southwest 82nd avenue and there will also be a turbo lane incorporated along the intersection of southwest Eighth street and 102nd avenue.

The start date for the contract was June 18 and it is expected to last until April 2013.  The contractor for the project is H & J Paving. Vazquez stated that the entire project is estimated to cost $6.8 million which will be paid through federal and state funds.

According to Vazquez, the project is meant to enrich safety in the area.  In an interview with Student Media, she stated, “At the end of the project, the entire project corridor will be repaved and restriped, making for a smoother and safer driving experience. The construction of a turbo lane on southwest 102nd avenue will lessen traffic backups by letting traffic flow for a longer, uninterrupted distance.”

Students appear to be concerned with how these changes will affect traffic around the University. Junior and journalism major, Jacqueline Rosado, expressed her concerns with the repaving.  She stated, “I think the upgrades will be good in the long run, but I am a bit concerned with how this will affect traffic around the University, especially these first few weeks when it’s so busy.”

In accordance with Rosado, Christy Querol, hospitality management and junior, stated, “Construction by any street or highway always causes traffic. The good thing is that the cops are controlling it.”

In regard to student, faculty and staff concerns on traffic issues due to the construction, Vazquez said, “There should be minimal effect to the University during the repaving process.”

Vazquez said that most of the construction will be done during the late evening.

 

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