Polk County’s proposal described in this space earlier this year to extend Deen Still Road through conservation lands –including a state park–under the guise of improving traffic flow turns out not to be an anomaly.
The Tampa Bay Times now reports another proposal by the Florida Department of Transportation, which 45 years ago proposed a new highway through the center of the Green Swamp Area of Critical State Concern to connect U.S. 27 to U.S. 98, is now proposing a bypass route around Zephyrhills through other conservation lands to connect U.S. 301 to U.S. 98.
Meanwhile, at next week’s Polk Transportation Planning Organization, the FDOT’s so-called U.S. 27 Mobility Study, which initially involved state transportation officials and local business interests, includes two proposals to extend or improve roads through the Green Swamp.
One involves what has turned out to be an improved truck route –details are sketchy–along Deen Still Road and Old Grade Road at the edge of two units of Hilochee Wildlife Management Area as the result of a decision many years ago by Polk County officials to pave the roads to reduce their maintenance costs.
Another involves a proposal to extend County Road 547 westward from Davenport to connect to Polk City Road near a historic African-American community and at the edge of Hilochee.
These are supposedly unfunded long-range transportation proposals., but road plans have a long life and some are eventually advanced when no one’s paying attention.