Tioga Residents Voice Frustration With Construction On SW 8th Avenue

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Dudley Hudson is among those living near Town of Tioga who are ready to see a portion of SW 8th Avenue open to traffic.

“Well, we spent that money,” he said as he drove his golf cart around his property last week. “Let’s go ahead with it.”

Hudson’s frustration is shared by others who are seeing additional commuting time because of the construction.

The eastern extension is almost complete and designed for a traffic signal at the intersection. County commissioners last week nearly delayed it longer to study a roundabout option.

Yet the hold-up due to failed protocol does not make sense to homeowners like Hudson, who operates a nursery off of Parker Road and plans to use the road when it finally opens.

“Well, they’ve already spotted where the poles are gonna go for the light and everything,” he said.  “We spent the money, and I myself prefer a light over a roundabout anyway.”

The black triangle illustrates the intersection of SW 8th Avenue and SW 122nd Street, which will soon have a traffic light installed, allowing the opening of the green-colored section of SW 8th Avenue south of Tioga. (Map courtesy of Alachua County)

Bill Califf said he experiences congestion when backing out of his SW 8th Avenue driveway during afternoon rush-hour traffic.

Califf moved to Tioga in the 1970s, and didn’t have to search hard to find vacant land.  His current home, which he had built in 1985, was surrounded by more than seven acres of trees and forests before he reached his nearest neighbor, he said. Now, his next-door neighbors are about 50 feet away and a major intersection could practically be in his front yard.

“I have no problem with it [construction] at all, but I’d prefer a traffic signal because roundabouts are stupid,” Califf said.

The road is expected to open within the next month, and commissioners are planning a meeting later this year to discuss adding more roundabouts across the county.

About Grayson Jarvis

Grayson is a reporter for WUFT who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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