Alachua County receives $1.4M to design “Paths to Opportunity” project

Alachua County recently received $1.4 million to address the SW 20th Avenue corridor over Interstate 75.
Alachua County recently received $1.4 million to address the SW 20th Avenue corridor over Interstate 75.
Courtesy of Alachua County

Alachua County recently received $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) for its “Paths to Opportunity” project along SW 20th Avenue.

According to an Alachua County press release sent Monday, the funds will help design the Complete Streets project.

The RAISE planning grant funds prioritize investment in communities historically persistent with poverty.

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The 0.56-mile project stretches from SW 62nd Boulevard to SW 61st Street and will provide a link to UF and UF Health Shands Hospital from the underserved SWAG area.

According to the release, the project will feature, “separated bike lanes, wide sidewalks, and additional motor vehicle lanes, which may be converted to dedicated transit lanes as the area and transit demand develop. Additional project features may include new pedestrian crossings, transit stop amenities, landscape enhancements, placemaking/community art features, and stormwater treatment. Lastly, the bridge substructure would be designed to accommodate future managed lanes on Interstate 75.”

The grant funds will be used to address deficiencies along the SW 20th Avenue corridor, which include the existing bridge that lacks safe facilities for those biking or walking. Multiple people biking or walking over the years have been struck by vehicles while traveling this section of road.

“Numerous community members have shared that people, including caregivers pushing strollers and wheelchairs, are routinely seen traveling along the shoulder of this roadway, including at night, in dark conditions,” said Alachua County Transportation Planning Manager Alison Moss in the release. “This is work borne out by staff observations and research. Residents of this neighborhood depend on transit, biking, and walking, and so for them traffic-separated pedestrian and bicycle facilities – such as those proposed by this project – are critical to the safety and well-being of the SWAG community.” 

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