Gainesville completes SW 62nd Boulevard connector

The city of Gainesville completed the SW 62nd Boulevard Connector project that links the Newberry Road-Oaks Mall area with the Archer Road-Butler Plaza area.
The city of Gainesville completed the SW 62nd Boulevard Connector project that links the Newberry Road-Oaks Mall area with the Archer Road-Butler Plaza area.
Courtesy city of Gainesville

The city of Gainesville announced the completion of the SW 62nd Boulevard connector project that links the Newberry Road/Oaks Mall area with the Archer Road/Butler Plaza area.

According to a Gainesville press release, the 1.1-mile roadway construction finished one month ahead of schedule.

The $18.8 million connector project, which the Gainesville City Commission approved in October 2021, was mostly funded through a Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) grant. The connector features 11-foot travel lanes, 10-foot shoulders and seven-foot buffered bicycle lanes on each side, along with a 10-foot multiuse path. The project also includes the city’s first simple span bridge constructed, with a 330-foot segment that crosses Hogtown Creek.

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“A well-connected road network is crucial,” said Gainesville Mayor Harvey Ward in the press release. “These changes improve safety and make it easier for neighbors to choose alternative modes of transportation. They help disperse traffic and reduce delay and congestion. In the end, they make our community more comfortable, more convenient and a safer place to live.”

According to the release, “In using a ‘Complete Streets’ model, the connector aligns with the Vision Zero Policy adopted by the Gainesville City Commission in 2018 to improve traffic safety. This approach to planning, designing, building, operating and maintaining streets enables safe access for all people who need to use them, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.”

The new route will not only help ease traffic congestion on SW 34th Street, SW 20th Street, Archer Road and Newberry Road. It will also potentially help highway efficiency on Interstate 75 by providing drivers an alternate path across southwest Gainesville.

“This project has been talked about since the 1990s,” said Gainesville Public Works Director Brian Singleton in the press release. “It’s very exciting to complete the roadway grid that provides these safe and improved options for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians navigating between the commercial centers in this part of the city.”

Gainesville now has four other high-visibility road projects in the works. These include the resurfacing NW Eighth Avenue from NW 40th Drive to Newberry; University Avenue safety improvements funded by an $8 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant; improvements to NE Ninth Street funded by the Streets Stations and Strong Foundations half-cent infrastructure surtax; and the planned addition of buffered bicycle lanes to NE Eighth Avenue between Main Street and Sixth Street.

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