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Archer and Alachua County commissions discuss road expansion at joint meeting

Archer and Alachua County commissioners held a joint meeting Monday at the Archer Community Center, and their discussion centered around plans to widen parts of Archer Road.

In the next five years, the county plans to change the road from an undivided two-lane road to a divided four-lane from Southwest 75th Street (the Tower Road intersection) to Southwest 122nd Street (Parker Road intersection), with the goal being the reduction of consistent traffic. The state owns Archer Road, so completing this plan will require working with the Florida Department of Transportation to eventually accommodate the traffic increase.

Fletcher Hope, an Archer city commissioner, believes that this change has been necessary and has been for some time, but is coming at the right moment for the city of Archer.

“It’s taken a long time. This was on the 50-year plan for the last 14 years,” Hope said. “As a public servant for this little tiny community, for 14 years I have begged and worked for them to move this project up.”

Hope also feels as though due to limitations like Archer Road not expanding in the past, the city of Archer itself has been stunted in its growth while the rest of Alachua County has grown, and that in the next five to ten years, the city is due to boom.

“That’s why Newberry has grown, that’s why Alachua has grown like it did, and Archer has sat idle. It’s time for us to do it in Archer,” Hope said.

Archer resident Willy Boykin also emphasized the need to build extra lanes on Archer Road.

“At pretty much any time of day, traffic is always coming from Gainesville and clogging Archer Road, constantly bumper-to-bumper and congested,” said Boykin, who was born in the city.

Boykin went on to mention that the road widening would be seen as an immediate benefit compared to the current situation in Archer.

“It’s a big difference, it really is,” Boykin said. “And it’s too time-consuming right now.”

Following the meeting, Alachua County District 1 Chair Mary Alford also offered her thoughts on the road expansion, which she feels is a much-needed change.

“When I moved out here, I realized how dangerous this road is,” Alford said. “Typically, I would not say that ‘four-laning’ a road is going to alleviate traffic, but in this case, after watching and experiencing the traffic itself, I believe that it will.”

According to the widening request, design costs will total approximately $2.5 million and construction costs are estimated to be $15.875 million, but since Archer Road is a state road, all the county can do is ask the state of Florida to fund the costs, which the state has agreed to do.

“It feels good to have that and move forward,” Alford said, regarding the progress toward the expansion. “It feels really good.”

Vikram is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing