Monthly Archives: July 2016

What kind of summer story are you writing?

When summer officially arrived on Monday, June 20, we posted this as the Tucker Paving thought on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/tuckerpaving/):

“Every summer has a story. What’s yours going to be? (Only happy endings allowed.)”

That post received 42 “Likes” and nice comments from two Tucker Paving Facebook friends:

• From Laura Lane: “My happy ending is eating ice-cold watermelon and letting it run down my arms to my elbow, just like when I was a kid. EAT MORE WATERMELON!!!” (The comment was followed by a smiley-face emoticon, or emoji, in sunglasses.)

• From Darlene Vise McKee: “Headed to (the) McKee Family Reunion in North Carolina this week. Being up in the mountains makes for good stories by campfire.”

Those comments led to a quick Internet search for interesting quotes about or references to summer and summertime — and we found lots of them! Here are just a few of the ones we like:

• “Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” — Henry James (The 19th-century American-born writer likely didn’t spend a lot of time in Florida.)

• “Summer means happy times and good sunshine. It means going to the beach, going to Disneyland, having fun.” – Brian Wilson (of Beach Boys fame)

• “Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January.” — Hal Borland

• “Summer has always been my favorite season. I feel happier.” — Zooey Deschannel

• “When I figured out how to work my grill, it was quite a moment. I discovered that summer is a completely different experience when you know how to grill.” — Taylor Swift

• “Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.” — Diane Ackerman

• “In the hot summer months, popsicles are a perfect way to cool down while enjoying a delicious, fruity treat. Frozen, refreshing, mouth-friendly candy on a stick cannot get any better … or can it?” — Marcus Samuelsson

• “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” — Sam Keen

• “Summer is very precious.” — Dylan Lauren

Have a safe and enjoyable summer, everyone! And remember, only happy endings are allowed!

Tucker Paving has a big role to play in new Volcano Bay Water Theme Park

Team Tucker is back at Universal Orlando Resort — not for fun and games but to make things more fun and exciting for Universal’s guests.

Tucker Paving Inc. is heavily involved with the construction of the Volcano Bay Water Theme Park, which will open to the public by June 1, 2017. (You can watch a park teaser video on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tuckerpaving/.)

The water park — Universal’s third in the United States — will feature 18 attractions “ranging from the daring to the serene” in four themed areas, Universal Orlando Executive Vice President Alice Norsworthy told the media recently.

The park centerpiece will be a 200-foot-tall faux volcano called Krakatau. Guests will be able to venture through its cascading waterfalls and hidden caverns.

Volcano Bay also will feature a multidirectional wave pool, a leisure pool, a lazy river, a toddler play area, a three-story water playground, and several slides. One of the slides, called Maku, is being dubbed as North America’s first “saucer ride.” It will send big rafts full of passengers around three saucer-shaped curves. Another slide, the 125-foot-tall Ko’okiri Plunge, will drop riders at a 70-degree angle into a huge guest-filled pool.

Universal Orlando officials also are promising that waiting in line will fun at Volcano Bay. According to a news release, the water park will “redefine the queue (line) experience so guests can focus entirely on having fun.”

Volcano Bay will be a replacement for the famous Wet ’n Wild Orlando water park on International Drive. Owned by Universal, Wet ’n Wild Orlando is operational now but will close permanently on Dec. 31, 2016.

Volcano Bay isn’t Tucker Paving’s first rodeo at Universal Orlando Resort. We also were involved in the construction of the Universal Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, before that, Transformers: The Ride-3D.

The management and employees of Tucker Paving get a lot of satisfaction in knowing that our theme park work will be enjoyed by thousands and thousands of people from all over the world for many years to come.

Roundabouts (traffic circles) being used more for Polk intersection upgrades

In 1972, a shortened version of the song Roundabout was a big hit for the English progressive rock band Yes. (Who remembers that oldie-but-goodie?) Today, roundabouts are increasingly becoming Polk County hits for traffic intersection engineer-designers and the motorists now using them.

As defined by the Washington State Department of Transportation, “A modern roundabout is a circular intersection where drivers travel counterclockwise around a center island. There are no traffic signals or stop signs in a modern roundabout. Drivers yield at entry to traffic in the roundabout, then enter the intersection and exit at their desired street.”

Roundabouts, or “traffic circles,” have been used for decades in large European cities (you’ve likely seen them in scenes from old movies), but they’re really only catching on now in a big way in the United States. An article on the city of Lakeland blog site states that “Compared to other types of intersections, roundabouts are designed to improve safety, reduce congestion, and reduce fuel usage.”

Since the middle of 2015, three roundabout intersections have been constructed in Polk County and opened to motorists. One is at the intersection of Lake Hollingsworth Drive and Hollingsworth Road in Lakeland, one is at State Road 17 and Hunt Brothers Road (County Road 17B) in Lake Wales, and the other is at Deen Still Road and State Road 33 in Polk City.

Working with Fort Myers-based Wright Construction Group, Tucker Paving Inc. had a major role in the construction of the Lake Wales roundabout. And recently, we were pleased to see that the Florida Department of Transportation had produced and released a nice testimonial video about the project. The video features Ellis Hunt Jr., president of Hunt Bros., Inc. (Florida’s Natural Growers), who talks about how welcome the roundabout has been to his company and the drivers of the company’s citrus-hauling semi tractor-trailer trucks.

The video, which shows really well what a traffic circle is all about and how the design improves safety, can be found and watched from the Tucker Paving Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tuckerpaving/, or you can watch it from YouTube at http://bit.ly/28Y6Mkc.