WUFT News

FDOT Grants Citrus County $1.5 Million to Make Curvy Roads Safer

By on March 11th, 2014
Several roads in Citrus County were found to be the site of 185 crashes in the past three years by the Florida Department of Transportation. The county was selected to receive a $1.5 million grant to improve the safety of 141 curves on county roads.

Florida Department of Transportation

Several roads in Citrus County were found to be the site of 185 crashes in the past three years by the Florida Department of Transportation. The county was selected to receive a $1.5 million grant to improve the safety of 141 curves on county roads.

Nicholas Tarr was a midshipman on leave from the U.S. Naval Academy when he died in Inverness on Aug. 9, 2012.

Tarr, 21, was driving on Old Floral City Road when he failed to recognize a curve. His car hit a tree and split in two, throwing Tarr from his 2003 Lincoln sedan.

The curves in Citrus County roads are well-known dangers in the community. Roads particularly difficult to navigate will have an opportunity to become safer with improvements installed this summer, according to a Citrus County press release.

In February, the Florida Department of Transportation selected Citrus County to receive a $1.5-million grant to improve the safety of 141 curves on county roads. The safety installations include curve warning signs with solar-powered speed feedback signs, retro-reflective pavement markers along the curve edge lines and chevron signs, which feature arrows indicating a curve.

Areas that will receive improvements include Lecanto Highway, Pleasant Grove Road, Citrus Avenue, Withlacoochee Trail, Old Floral City Road, Fort Island Trail, Homosassa Trail, Ozello Trail and Gobbler Drive.

These nine roads were part of a study completed in 2012 by the FDOT. According to the study, these areas were chosen because of the number of crashes that have occurred there in recent years.

The areas that were studied by the FDOT were the site of 185 crashes in the past three years with a total of 156 injuries and two fatalities, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Kris Carson, an FDOT spokeswoman, said Citrus County was awarded the grant because of the results of this study.

“The whole goal is to reduce lane-departure crashes, and we’re finding that a lot of these happen on roads with curves,” Carson said.

The FDOT normally handles state roads, but because of the Citrus County study they were able to recognize the needs of local roads.

“Whenever we can take different grant money and help the locals make their roads safer, that’s something we definitely want to do,” Carson said.

Citrus County is the first of the five counties in its FDOT district – which also includes Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties – to receive safety improvements, according to Carson. The other counties will also receive grants.

Tobey Phillips, public information officer and a lifelong resident of Citrus County, said these roads could be difficult to navigate if the driver is unfamiliar with the curves.

Phillips said this grant was a pleasant surprise for Citrus County because no action was taken by the county to receive it. It is in the budget now, and because of the grant, the city gets the chance to make the necessary improvements.

“It’s huge to us because we know it needs to be done,” Phillips said.

Kitty Hicks, an employee at Wayne’s Citrus Cycles in Floral City, said roads such as Fort Island Trail, Ozello Trail and Gobbler Road are long, curvy and very popular for riding motorcycles.

Hicks, who enjoys riding these trails with her husband, said these safety improvements will mean a lot.

“Any visible markings for a motorcyclist to see will make a huge difference,” she said.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

IMG_8377

Chicken House Fire Kills 24,000 Chicks

Chickens die in a chicken house fire at Saavedra Farms on Wednesday night.


featured

Gainesville Family First To Win The Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship

The Garrity family is the first family to receive the Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship from the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. The scholarship is valued at $1,500 and was created for families to engage in recreational and cultural activities for free.


Gabrielle Steinberg, 22 months old, digs in the soil and pots a baby plant. The activity was part of the Kids Area crafting section of the festival.

Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival Flourishes Over the Weekend

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens hosted the 24th annual Spring Garden Festival over the weekend. The festival flourished with thousands of attendees including, families, horticulturalists and garden appreciators who enjoyed the first days of the spring at the garden.


IMG_0565

Bryant House To Become Historic Resource Center

The Historic Ocala Preservation Society purchased the 120-year-old Bryant House in August 2013 with the goal of turning it into a resource center for historic research. After restoring the exterior and first floor of the Bryant House, the society is taking steps to transform the front parlor and hope to have the room open by summer.


The new location of Alachua County Fire Station #25 is now in a community in hopes that they can respond to calls quicker. The Hawthorne station is three miles west of its old location, said Bill Northcutt, Alachua County fire rescue chief.

Hawthorne Community Welcomes Fire Station’s Return

Hawthorne residents say they once again feel part of a community with the reopening of Alachua County Fire Rescue Station #25. After closing in 2009 for economic reasons, the redesigned station will bring security and potentially lower insurance rates to the surrounding area.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments