SEBRING — County Engineer Clinton Howerton Jr. hopes to have done final plans on Sebring Parkway Phase 2 by the end of the month.
That is, if the Florida Department of Transportation can see his point of view on adding left-turn lanes from southbound U.S. 27 onto the Parkway.
Assistant County Engineer J.D. Langford said that intersection is “maxed out” on the length of mast arms it can have over the lanes. The county also doesn’t have enough right of way at that point, or money to secure it at such as a heavily-developed intersection.
Even if the county could add the lanes, Langford said, the traffic signals would need to go on a span wire.
After having Hurricane Irma, the county doesn’t want to hang any more traffic signals on wires, Langford said.
When Howerton told county commissioners about the FDOT request at their Tuesday meeting, he said he was trying to work through that issue with them.
“We don’t think that’s warranted or necessary at this particular time,” Howerton said. “It’s certainly not a cost we’re intending to bear.”
He said he hopes to get FDOT officials to see his perspective.
FDOT also has some minor changes required to a drainage structure in the right of way.
Wawa still has plans to put in one of its gasoline and convenience store stations on the northwest corner of the intersection. Langford said those plans have not changed.
Plans state the station will have have one right-turn only entrance/exit on the highway and two more along Sebring Parkway Phase 2, also right-turn in/out.
Langford said the county is also preparing to purchase 2.3 acres of right of way on the southwest corner with DeSoto Road: 50 feet of right of way along the Parkway and 30 feet along DeSoto Road.
Currently, County Attorney Joy Carmichael is working out the details of the sale contract, Howerton said.
Langford said the expected purchase price is $45,000, which is almost $100,000 less than the $140,000 it would cost to put in a retaining wall, otherwise.
With the extra space, the county can forego that retaining wall and “square up” the intersection. Langford said there would also be more space for the City of Sebring to put in water and sewer lines.