Glades County plans to lower speed on County Road 721


MOORE HAVEN — At their Jan. 12 meeting, Glades County Commissioners discussed lowering the speed limit on County Road 721 to 30 mph from State Road 78 to the Highlands County line.

“CR 721 has a history of a lot of issues,” James Hull of Aim Engineering told commissioners at their Jan. 12 meeting. “The main issue is we don’t have enough funding to fix it.”

Florida Department of Transportation has provided some funding for repaving CR 721, but “the road is just caving in,” he said.

“What we are concerned about is that this road can slip into the canal,” he said. “The water coming out of Highlands County coming down that roadside ditch, the first 4,000 feet is bad.”

“It’s like a perfect storm if you wanted to design a bad road,” Hull explained.

The road bed is not stable, he said. It is built on muck. Water from Highlands County drains through the area. Cleaning of the drainage canals to remove aquatic plants has caused the drainage canals to become larger which amplifies the problems. Heavy cane trucks will use the road for the harvest, which has just started and will continue through May.

Hull said he will request DOT to change the scope of work so they can use current funding to stabilize the road bed instead of using the funds for repaving, but they will need more funding to solve the problem.

He said Department of Transportation has not provided a right-of-way map which makes it difficult to design a solution.

Sheriff David Hardin said the Seminole Tribe has asked the speed limit be lowered on all of County Road 721 due to the number of accidents. He said a speed monitor device was placed on the roadway to let drivers know how fast they are going, and it was destroyed.

Seminole Tribe Police have logged speeds in the 90s, he explained.

The commissioners authorized staff to prepare an ordinance to change the speed limit on CR 721 to 30 mph and also authorized staff to research other safety methods for traffic calming that can be done in addition to the lower speed limit.

They also agreed to contact DOT and other interested parties in regard to options for funding to repair the road.

The sheriff said he has asked Florida Highway Patrol to patrol there as much as they can.