EDC panel looking at how to get new connector road built in northeast Polk

WHENEVER WE HEAR about road building or the potential for road building in Polk County, we sit up and take notice over here in the offices of Tucker Paving, Inc., in Winter Haven. After all, paving — which includes road building — is the primary service that launched our company nearly 24 years ago.

Not long ago, we learned about a major road-planning project our friends at the Haines City Economic Development Council are undertaking. According to an item posted to the EDC’s website by EDC President , the council “is spearheading conversation for the future development of a new north/south connector road.” The council’s Infrastructure Advisory and Stakeholder Committee hopes to improve road infrastructure and accessibility to northeast Polk County and Central Florida, Cyndi wrote.

The purpose of the connector would be to relieve the traffic congestion that now exists at and near the intersection of U.S. Highway 27 and Interstate 4. Tucker Paving team members know the area well, having motored through it many times, so they’ve experienced the congestion first hand. It’s congestion that only will get worse with time, given the high rate of growth in northeast Polk.

The EDC’s Infrastructure Advisory and Stakeholder Committee is a panel of public officials, businesspeople, primary benefactors, and landowners who are “working together to come up with new alternatives and a long-term solution on a north/south connector road,” Cyndi wrote.

“This area has experienced an increase in congestion south of I-4 on U.S. Highway 27 and on Interstate Highway 4 north and east of U.S. 27. As the future land use, growth, and economic development continue to flourish in this region, congestion is projected to increase,” she wrote.

Members of the EDC committee think the north/south connector has “great potential” to:

• Improve regional access and safety,

• Increase traffic capacity,

• Allow freight accessibility, and

• Maximize the use of existing infrastructure to increase the return on investment.

Cyndi reports that the Haines City EDC Infrastructure Advisory and Stakeholder Committee meets monthly for discussions about the connector road “to identify problems and provide solutions that will be less expensive and more convenient.”

“The goal is to divide costs among entities and utilize a corridor configuration where right-of-way cost is minimized,” Cyndi wrote. “The group is advocating for new and updated traffic studies to work toward development of the connector road.”

If you would like to know more about this project or want to provide some input, give Cyndi a call over at the Haines City EDC (863-422-2525), or e-mail her at cyndi@hainescityedc.com. We’re sure she would be happy to speak with you.