FDOT won't narrow lanes on SR 70 East

Posted 4/8/21

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) officials brought good news to the Okeechobee commission's April 8 meeting.

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FDOT won't narrow lanes on SR 70 East


OKEECHOBEE – Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) officials brought good news to the Okeechobee County Commission’s April 8 meeting. Following meetings with county officials, FDOT has reconsidered their plan to narrow traffic lanes when they resurface State Road 70 E.

The FDOT project will resurface SR 70 from Northeast Fourth Avenue to Northeast 17th Avenue, with some drainage and sidewalk work included.

“One of the main topics of concern was lane width,” said Michael Johnson of FDOT. The original design called for narrowing the lanes of traffic from 12 feet to 11 feet. Due to the concerns raised by the county officials, the lanes will remain 12 feet wide, he said.

FDOT will also leave the median cuts in place for access to side roads. The original plan would have blocked left turn access at  13th Street and  16th Street.

At the request of the commission, FDOT will also add a designated left turn light on SR 70 at the Post Office.

The county commission also requested a traffic light at Northeast 16th Street. Johnson said FDOT did a traffic count at that intersection and it did not warrant a light. He said they might consider adding a traffic light there at some time in the future.

“Thank you for sitting down with us and getting our opinion and really taking it to heart,” said Commissioner Brad Goodbread. “It’s great news for Okeechobee.”

Commissioner Kelly Owens said she looks forward to keeping the lines of communication open and building on the county’s relationship with FDOT.

“Thank you for listening to our needs,” said Commissioner David Hazellief.

The commissioners did note they are still not happy about the roundabout currently under construction on U.S. 441 S.E.

“We’re not trying to be difficult at all,” said Commission Chair Terry Burroughs. “We’re just getting a lot of feedback.” He asked FDOT officials to find out if the contractors for the roundabout are working the hours they agreed to.

“Our goal for our department is to keep the open lines of communication,” said FDOT representative L.K. Nadem.