FDOT to hold hearing on Blanding Blvd. project

Meeting 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Middleburg Civic Center, 2102 Palmetto Street

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – Blanding Boulevard in Middleburg will be getting a big makeover in a few years, but the Florida Department of Transportation wants your input now.

FDOT held a public hearing in August of 2013 to get input from the community and since then, they have made changes to the construction plans based on people's concerns.

Thursday night, they will hold another meeting to show the community the changes they've made since August and answer more questions.

There will be two phases of construction: one beginning in fall of 2018, and the second starting in the summer of 2019. That may seem like a long time from now, but the FDOT said plans for construction projects as big as this are finalized far in advance, so it's important to get everything worked out with the community long before construction begins.

"We had a public hearing back in august 2013 and we've made some adjustments since then based on public input, so we would really like the community to come out take a look at the plans and let us know if they have any other input before we move forward," said Laurie Sanderson, spokesperson for FDOT.
People who travel on Blanding Boulevard in Middleburg will start to see some changes in a few years, changes for the better.

"Construction can sometimes be a hassle however, by widening the roadway we increase the capacity of the road for commuters and travelers," said Sanderson.

The project will be in two phases:The section from Black Creek Bridge to Allie Murray Road is scheduled to begin in fall of 2018 and the section from County Road 218 to Black Creek Bridge is scheduled to start in summer of 2019.

The project will widen Blanding Boulevard from four to six lanes, add bike lanes, highway lighting, upgraded traffic signals and signalized crosswalks for pedestrians.

"We do listen to the public's concerns in fact we had a public hearing in August of 2013 but based on the input from the public hearing we went back to the plans made some changes and that's why we're having another public meeting, to show the community the changes we've made and see if the community has any other input," said Sanderson.

The meeting will be held Thursday evening, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Middleburg Civic Center located at 2102 Palmetto Street. FDOT staff will be on hand to present recommendations and answer questions from people in attendance.

This will not be the last meeting the FDOT will hold. They said they will definitely have another community meeting will be scheduled sometime in the future. They will base the next meeting on how Thursday's meeting goes and what type of feedback they get.