Friday, February 18, 2011

Port LaBelle Gets Return Of SR80 Turn Lane

LABELLE, FL-- After many community complaints, and letter writing by area citizens, the Florida Department of Transportation has decided to return a right turn lane at Collingswood Blvd., after the new State Road 80 four-lane project removed it.

Here's the response from the DOT to a letter from the City of LaBelle's Ron Zimmerly.

Dear Mr. Zimmerly:

I am writing in response to your email requesting the department to replace the eastbound right turn lane at the intersection of SR 80 and Collingswood Blvd. You were concerned about safety at the intersection because of the absence of the right turn lane. Be assured safety along the state highway system is the top priority of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

The current design for the widening of SR 80 from a two lane undivided to four lane divided roadway did not include the right turn lane. The review performed during the design process considered the number of turning vehicles currently making a right turn at the intersection did not meet the threshold for installation of a right turn lane.

I asked my staff to review the location again and determine if we can accommodate your request. Our review found that there is potential for traffic growth at the intersection and the location will benefit from an exclusive right turn lane. As such, we will install the eastbound right turn lane at the intersection. I have asked my staff to start the design process to add the right turn lane.

The current widening project is scheduled to be complete in the next two weeks. As such, we will have to issue a new contract to install the turn lane. I anticipate the design to be completed in the next four weeks and a contractor to be working at the location in three to four months.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or Mr. Edward J. Gonzalez, P.E., Director of Transportation Operations at (863) 519-2202.

Stanley M. Cann, P.E.

District One Secretary

Florida Department of Transportation

(863) 519-2201, Fax (863) 534-7265

And the letter by Mr. Zimmerly

As the President of Port LaBelle POA Unit 4, I would like to share our concern regarding the lack of an eastbound deceleration and turning lane at Collinswood Parkway on SR 80 E near the City of LaBelle. The eastbound turn onto Collinswood Parkway has been made more dangerous than prior to the completion of the 4 lane highway. I can not believe a left turn/decel lane was installed at this intersection without replacing the previously existing decel/right turn lane. I believe the eastbound right decel/turn lane onto Collinwood Parkway was part of a Master Development Order that General Development Corp was required to install for approval of the DRI for Port LaBelle. The Port LaBelle POA Unit 4 Homeowners Association adopted a resolution at our monthly board meeting last evening, February 10, 2011. A copy of the resolution is attached urging immediate attention. There has already been one accident since the decel/turn lane was removed.

In addition, the City of LaBelle adopted a similar resolution at their regularly scheduled city commission meeting last evening, February 10, 2011. A copy of that resolution will be provided as soon as it is available from the Deputy Clerk's Office. Your expeditious attention to this matter is greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Ron Zimmerly, President of Port LaBelle POA Unit 4.

Ron Zimmerly, Finance Director
City of LaBele


  1. Anonymous7:54 PM

    This is good news. However, since the completion of construction, a recent speed sign for 60mph has been installed just west of the merge sign and turn lane for Birchwood. This is the site of future accidents. Just east of Birchwood, the original spped sign of 60mph still stands and that's where the speed change ought to be. You don't want traffic slowing down to merge and change lanes for an exit while you increase the speed limit - DAH!

  2. We were able to move FDOT because of a joint effert by POA4, Church of Good Shepherd, Laurel Oaks Village POA5, the City of LaBelle, County commissioners, Al Perry and Darryl Harris
    Thanks again to all.