Future travels through Starke and Bradford County will be discussed at a public hearing by the Florida Department of Transportation Thursday in Starke.
The FDOT is proposing to build a new four-lane roadway on the west side of Starke between County Roads 227 and 233 to allow through traffic, especially semi trucks, to bypass the downtown area, and take some pressure off Highway 301.
The meeting is Thursday at the Bradford County Fairgrounds, 2300 N. Temple Avenue in Starke. Between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., FDOT staff will be available for an informal open house. A presentation at 6:30 follows, as does opportunity for public comment.
Driving through Starke on Highway 301 can often be a frustrating experience. Traffic is heavy, and the number of big rig trucks using the thoroughfare clogs the highway and slows down traffic.
That problem is now being examined.
The Florida Department of Transportation plan would be to construct a new roadway with overpasses at County Road 100A, CSX Railroad, and County Road 229. Interchanges will be built at State Road 16 and State Road 100 to provide access to the roadway. The total length of the new road would be about 7.3 miles.
Although construction is not funded, the FDOT is planning to purchase the property needed to build the new road over the next four years. The total estimated cost of the project, including right of way acquisition, is $202 million. Various meetings are being scheduled for people to learn about the project and give their input.
The official FDOT web site for this project is www.us301starke.com.