AVON PARK — As work continues on the Memorial Drive roundabout, motorists are having to avoid the Memorial Drive and College Drive intersection and take a detour to bypass the road closure.

The detour to and from Memorial Drive to the south of the closure puts extra traffic on Independence Street (formerly Baltimore Street), which is where two not-for-profit organizations that assist persons with disabilities are located.

Ridge Area Arc CEO Kathleen Border said she was pretty impressed with information she received about the road closure/detour.

A Florida Department of Transportation representative came out to inform Ridge Area Arc of the road closure and explained that Independence Street would be the main thoroughfare during the construction of the roundabout.

“We expressed some concerns about our consumers and crossing this road between administration [building] and ADT [Adult Day Training],” she said.

After Memorial Drive closed at East College Drive, “a lot of the traffic going through here felt extremely fast,” Border said. “We reached out to the sheriff’s department and they’ve had a consistent presence here to help us keep people going at 25 mph and keep our consumers safe.

“It has been relatively easy; we are looking forward to having College Drive as an outlet, because truly this shouldn’t be a main thoroughfare,” she said.

Claire Langway, executive director for Heartland Horses Equine Activities & Learning Inc., explained Baltimore Street had a name change to Independence Street, which is the little side road that runs right in front of Arc.

Heartland Horses has its barn on Independence Street.

“For a lot of people it is just inconvenient, but the Sheriff’s Office has been great about parking its cars there or being there especially for Arc with its consumers walking back and forth across the road so people cannot just zip through there,” Langway said.

There has been more traffic on Independence Street. “They [the Sheriff’s Office] are doing a fantastic job. We have to have people slow down there, it is not an option,” she said.

“I would say that the biggest concern is the speed and the amount of traffic, but knock on wood, we haven’t had anything happen yet, but we are all looking forward to it being finished.”


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