Still No Clear Answer From Turnpike Folks On Hampton Reserve Access

People who enjoy the trail system on the east side of Lake Hancock still have no clear answer from the Florida Turnpike Enterprise on future access to the trailhead at the Marshall Hampton Reserve.

The site is in the path of the western leg of the Central Polk Parkway , which will run between State Road 60 and the Polk Parkway. The road is scheduled to be under construction by 2023. It is intended to divert truck traffic from the CSX freight terminal and other locations from the local highway network through Bartow and Lakeland.

The new road will mean the destruction of the oak hammock on the reserve and blocking the current public access to the site.

Ancient Islands Sierra has been pressing transportation officials and officials at the Southwest Florida Water Management District, which owns the property, to resolve the issue but project consultants so far have not been forthcoming to Sierra or to Swifmtud.

The only response is that more details may be available at a public meeting scheduled sometime next summer.

Getting answers soon is important because once project reaches its final planning stage, it will likely be impossible to alter the project’s design.