Local News

Sebring Parkway Phase III plans being finalized

SEBRING - On Tuesday, county commissioners agreed on the design of a traffic circle that will allow the proposed Sebring Parkway Phase III's northbound motorists a choice between South Florida State College or Avon Park. On Nov. 19, commissioners are to discuss hiring a team that will complete final drawings for the entire five-mile parkway. And next summer, said County Engineer Ramon Gavarrete, construction on Phase III should start. The final design of the College Drive intersection required additional right of way, which the college gladly provided. For years, former president Norm Stephens had opposed a four-way intersection that would have tended to route traffic onto College Drive. College trustees felt the road should be used mostly by faculty, staff and students, not car and truck through traffic.
The college agreed to dedicate easements on two parcels, but reserved the right to place and maintain signs landscaping, lighting and other facilities in the roundabout easements. A county team of five has ranked the request-for-qualifications proposals from engineers. The county team will reveal its first choice at the Nov. 19 meeting. "In house, we developed what we call a 60-percent plan," Gavarrete said. That is, county engineers developed the roundabout concept, drew an approximate route from the 90-degree turn north of downtown Sebring to Memorial Drive, and obtained right of ways. The design-build team will finish those plans down to the inch. Because of new federal regulations, another survey must be done in March or April, Gavarrete said. "After that construction will start." gpinnell@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5828