Local News

Road projects underway or planned for Highlands County

— For Jean Hanood, the barricades and workers on the south side of Sebring parkway, east of U.S. 27, is nothing new.

In the more than 10 years she’s lived in that area, she said, she has seen them make repairs to the nearby manhole at least five times.

“Hopefully, this is going to be the final fix,” she said.

The manhole work at Sebring Parkway is one of a few road-related projects either ongoing or planned throughout the county.

State projects include improvements on Kenilworth Boulevard from Weigle Avenue to Denise Avenue, according to a press release from the Florida Department of Transportation. The project involves adding sidewalk and reconstructing driveway entrances as part of the Safe Routes to Schools program.

The press release said that maintenance projects involve U.S. 98 from U.S. 27 to Ashton Drive; U.S. 27 from Bramblewood Road to Martin Road; State Road 66 west of County Road 635 and Ridgewood Drive from Sebring Parkway to Glenwood Ave.

In Sebring, the city is planning to resurface Orange Avenue from Commerce Street to Rose Avenue, Public Works Director Kenneth Fields said.

He said he has a list of roads that need improvements, but it’s uncertain when other projects will be done.

Avon Park City Manager Julian Deleon said the city typically budgets $80,000 a year for repaving streets. This year’s budget has been spent, he said.

In Lake Placid, the city plans to repave the south side of town from East Interlake Boulevard, east of South Main up to U.S. 17, according to City Council agenda materials.

Highlands County officials have announced plans to continue with the third phase of Sebring Parkway.

The project on the existing part of Sebring Park deals with a Sebring city manhole.

Sebring Utilities Director Bob Boggus said the problems relating to the manhole go back for years.

He said when they put in a sewer line for Sebring Square shopping center, the road at the time was called Fairmont. The sewer lines were put in the right of way without consideration of the road being expanded, Boggus said.

When the road was expanded and it became Sebring Parkway, the sewer line wasn’t given additional protection against the impact of the traffic, he said.

Those factors, along with a high water table in the area, have contributed to the manhole sinking, Boggus said. He added this project to fix the problem is more involved than previous ones.

The work should be completed this week or next week, he said.

Hanood said she is looking forward to that, adding she and some of the residents have felt shaking in their houses and were worried about damage to the foundation.

Peggy Glore, who also lives near the work site, said she believes Excavation Point, the contractor, and the city are doing a good job. The employees have let residents know what is going on and are polite, she said.

“For what they had to do, I think it’s gone real well,” Glore said.


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