Polk County officials announced recently that construction will begin next March on a toll road called the Central Polk Parkway, which is designed to divert through traffic—especially truck traffic—away from Bartow and connect to the Polk Parkway.
The highway’s route will cut across the northeast corner of Marshall Hampton Reserve. This will require the relocation of the popular recreation area’s trailhead.
According to county officials, the relocation of the trailhead will involve moving it a short distance south to a spot near the Lake Lena Run bridge. That is planned to be one of the early construction projects. The construction will also affect part of the Marshall Hampton Reserve’s trail system, specifically some of the trails in the oak hammock near the current trailhead.
The construction and subsequent opening of the new road, which includes bridges over Thornhill Road and Winter Lake Road, to traffic will likely cause an increase noise levels trail users will experience.
It could be a mess out there for awhile, so be prepared.