The idea of an expanded stretch of Kings Highway as it enters DeSoto County from Charlotte County is both exciting and puzzling.
The Florida Department of Transportation recently welcomed the public to a meeting in Arcadia to see and ask questions about plans for four-laning 2.5 miles of the road.
Our initial reaction was the $37.7 million cost for only 2.5 miles of roadway seems excessive. The project would continue the four lanes that leave Charlotte County, which pass the Walmart, and provide better road as you enter DeSoto County.
Is that ample reward for the expenditure? And, we wondered, won’t it be just as dangerous, or moreso, transitioning back to two lanes after the new road runs out?
One visitor at the meeting asked if FDOT would be better off ditching the planned medians and providing a middle turn lane. The advantage, they suggested, would be trucks and others would not have to wait for a break in the median to turn into roads and businesses along the busy roadway.
Our concerns for the cost and need for the project waned when we considered what Anne Avenue resident John Lewis brought up — the 1,000 or so homes going in at The Sonoma Preserve, a housing development planned on that piece of road.
The Kings Highway expansion is still years away. So, there is time to offer comment.
You can do so by writing, before Nov. 18, Steven A. Andrews, Project Manager Florida Department of Transportation P.O. Box 1249 Bartow, FL 33831 Phone: 863-519-2270, Steven.Andrews@dot.state.fl.us. Full project details can be seen at the DeSoto County Library through Nov. 18 or at www.cr769kingshighway.com.